Saturday, November 12, 2016

Katana Jones and the Pocatello Kid, Part One

Hey, remember I threatened you with fan-fiction?  Here we go--generated by Ed's sci fi pulptastic Future Tales and starring this pretty little grrl in all her ferocious predatory glory.

Unfortunately, Hero Forge does not have appropriately "Buck Rogers" options for their miniatures, so she's still more Apocalypse World / the Sprawl than she is Forbidden Planet.  Them's the breaks.

Katana Jones
Rep 5 SS3 Scavenger Star (Humanoid Alien) (Power 5)
Brawler +1d6 in Melee
Quick Reflexes +1d6 on In Sight tests (Racial)
Laser Pistol
Solid Melee Weapon
(Up to 5 items)
Home: Rural/Salvage

Rep 4 SS3 Exotic Grunt (Humanoid Alien) (Power 2)
Pilot (Counts as Rep 5 when piloting Starcraft)
Stunning (+2d6 when taking Talk the Talk test vs. affected parties)(Racial)

Opening Scene generates thusly: 1d6+5 on the Person or Thing Table is a 9 Find/Rescue Person...5 clues needed to unlock the final scene.  1d6 for specific sort of case...5 means the Victim is to be hunted down!  Right up the real Katana's alley.  2d6 on the Rural column of the "Who Is It?" table generates an Exotic target...and a further d6 generates a Gambler (Male, Rep 4, armed with a Laser Pistol) who was last seen in Urban Area 1...the Undercity!  And this is where the investigation will officially begin after a quick Travel Scene to get to the Big City which results in no confrontation as the pair use Myrna's ship to make a brief domestic flight.

I was busy separating a primary drive coil from the thruster housing with the old fashioned standby of a crowbar, my full body weight, and a lot of cussing when Myrna buzzed my workshop by way of saying hello.  That inspired a few more variations on copulatory impossibilities, since she knows full well I'd rather she comm me first instead of just zipping overhead before touching down on the improvised landing pad by my humble abode.  By the time I'd gotten my tail to stop frizzing out with alarm and schooled my face into something less ferocious than she deserved, the blue-skinned beauty was almost dancing out of her cockpit with an ear to ear grin that told me maybe, just maybe, she had an excuse this time.

"D'you mind," I called out, sounding annoyed.  "Almost skinned my knuckles when you flew over."

"Sorry, K," she answered, rubbing the back of her neck.  "Only I got you a job offer.  Guy back in New Kuna has a bounty and you were saying the other week how you were getting bored and..."

"Hold up."  I narrowed my eyes.  "What sort of job?"

"Nothing major.  Sounded like a grab-and-secure.  No wetwork, I promise!  I remember you don't like that stuff."  Her grin grew a bit wider, as if she thought this was some sort of joke.  Which it was, for her, but then she's not a felinoid life form descended from apex predators.  Me?  I have a rep to protect, and getting caught playing with the perp is not a helpful thing.

"And the client?"

"The Horseshoe Club."

Oh.  Oh, great.  New Kuna had three main economic points of interest.  The spaceport, which was more of what you might call a truck stop for intersystem haulers.  The hospitality district, which catered to other needs of lonely freighter crew.  Then there was the Horseshoe Club, which was first and foremost a casino and secondarily a saloon, hotel, and restaurant...and also the unofficial second city hall.  If they wanted someone caught...I ran one hand through my mane and grumbled.

"Okay, gimme a minute to secure everything and we'll go see what the Horseshoe gang wants."

"No hurry.  It's an exclusive sort of contract."  Myrna stretched and let her grin fade to a mere smile.  "I convinced them to leave it in your capable hands."

Translation: I flashed my breasts at the guy with the offer and he agreed to delay posting the task until after you got a chance to review and refuse.  That was Myrna for you.  Flirtation was her primary weapon in the same way that a replica Japanese katana was mine.  Not that I was about to complain, since her silver tongue had gotten the both of us out of a few tight spots over the years.  Ducking into my bunker, I hastily groomed and put on a cleaner shirt, then shrugged into my armored jacket and grabbed both sword and blaster pistol.  Might as well look the part.

With Myrna flying, it was less than half an hour from my burn-flat workshop on the edge of a scavenger's dream to the bustling metropolis of New Kuna.  Like most spaceport towns, it was a sprawling mess.  You could tell the upper class areas from the air, since they were neatly laid out and looked much more carefully planned than the broad band of high-tech shantytown that marked the poorer areas.  But we didn't have to go very far to meet our contact, since he was waiting for us when we touched down in the 'local traffic' section of the port.  He was tall, reedy, thinning sandy blond hair, and a well-tailored suit that made him stand out in the working-stiff atmosphere of the landing zone.

"Katana Jones, I presume?  Horatio Harrison, at your service."  He held out a hand, which I shook, and glanced at Myrna.  "The partners have agreed to let you take this one without any competition, if you're interested."

"Who's the target?"

That seemed to stump him, as if he'd expected me to ask about payment or cynically demand to know which partners were behind this.  I could have grinned, but Basics seem to find my show of teeth unnerving.

"Ah...uhm..."  He fumbled with his briefcase, dug out an old-fashioned hardcopy dossier, handed it over.  "Boris Dillard Grumman, also known as the Pocatello Kid.  Why he's called that, I have no idea."

I flipped it open and immediately understood--the man in the holo was old enough to be my grandfather.  Wrinkly, white-haired, fully bearded, and honestly demands I add that the look in his eyes was distubingly jolly.  A quick glance at his particulars read like a week at the sheriff's office: con-man and gambler, possibly also a thief.

"Probably the same reason people call small dogs Goliath," Myrna quipped.

"Yes, well, anyway...payment will be Guild standard rate."  I narrowed my eyes, but he raised a hand to cut me off.  "Yes, I know you aren't a member.  They've agreed to overlook the peculiarity since this is considered a private matter between Mister Grumman and the Horseshoe Club.  This time."

Okay, that set off all sorts of alarm bells in my head.  I looked at the jolly old fellow again.  There was something in that face that made me want to hit it with a shovel.  Shutting the dossier with a snap, I met Horatio's eyes.

"A quarter payment up front."

"Yes, of course.  And we'll pay for your ship's restock before you depart should off-world travel become necessary."  Myrna's eyebrows went up at that.  This was way too generous!  I nodded, slowly.  Whatever this Pocatello Kid had done, it wasn't just a simple unwanted visit.  I wondered who he'd ripped off, what  he'd stolen, who he'd angered.

"Then you've got yourself a hunter.  I don't suppose you have any leads?"

Horatio swallowed, tugged at his collar, tried to smile reassuringly.

"As it turns out, we do.  Mister Grumman was using an alias to skirt the edges of a previous agreement with the Club, and someone tweaked the biometric security to allow him entry.  A local accomplice, already in custody.  Quite the talkative fellow, too, once he realized that Grumman was going to skip out without paying him.  He says the man mentioned a bolt hole in the Downunder, so unless he's already slipped offworld you should probably start there."

I nodded, glanced at Myrna.  When she nodded back, I smiled...yes, I admit, I let my teeth show, and was gratified to see Horatio squirm a bit at that.

"We're on the job."

Not that finding a sticky-fingered con-man in the Downunder was going to be easy, but if it was easy they wouldn't have asked me to do it.  Myrna stayed behind to, ah, secure the ship and confirm the initial payment.  I'm pretty sure she was also going to be spending a little quality time with our Mister Johnson while I got down to business.

A good solo hunt was just what I needed to cure my blues.  This was gonna be fun...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

More Fun With HeroForge

Not Avalon, honest!  This is Katana's namesake.  I'm still playing around with the options...but she's aiming to be more of a 5150 / Uncharted Worlds / Scum and Villainy lass.

These three are the 'official' build.  The obvious signature weapon is obvious.

Here's alternate pose and with the weapons switched out and a different expression, because while she plays a LOT more roughly than Avalon ever did, she doesn't seem to be an Angry Grrl.  Just sort of kittenishly predatory with great enthusiasm.  Katana of the Burn Flats, maybe.  She'd fit into the Kawaii Konekoclypse nicely.

And here's a variant for Future Tales--Katana, Princess of Planet X!  I'd have used an energy sword or something but Hero Forge doesn't have one as an option.  Cutoffs would probably be better than the studded jeans, too.

"You call me PRINCESS Cheesecake, you goob!"

A closeup of the 'mischievous me' expression, as opposed to the 'RAWR' one.  I actually think this suits her far better, but the ferocious face is sort of traditional.

And finally, Katana Jones, Tomb Raider...

If I do this one, I'll probably put the holster on her other hip and add a whip.  Because tradition.  And maybe a fedora.  Because tradition.  But the katana stays.

In the meantime, I'm seriously playing around with 'borrowing' Ed's setting of New Hope City for both Uncharted Worlds and a certain Blades in the Dark hack called Scum and Villainy.  I may even try a little bit of fanfic in here.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Couple of (Longwinded) Thoughts

Apropos of nothing and in no particular order...

= = = = =

Of all the kerfuffles in the hobby right now, there are two that make less than no sense to me.  There's the rather curious bulldada about inclusion (read: having people of color in illustrations and women wearing something that isn't bikini battle armor) that leaves me scratching my noggin, touched on in earlier posts now and again.  Of late, this has been joined by some odd feud between OSR and 'story' gaming, which is really odd...and over which I have ceased following certain people simply because the rhetoric employed got a bit too excessive.

Let me sum up.  I am very fond of OSR.  It's part nostalgia, since if you tell me that a game has 6 stats generated by rolling 3d6 for each, uses a d20 to hit, and has Armor Class involved, I have a fair idea of how this is gonna play out.  There's something comforting in knowing that I can enjoy this without having to dedicate what free time I have to learning Yet Another Darn Game System. If you will, OSR is the five card draw poker of role-playing.  This is my main reason for supporting Kevin Crawford's line of excellent games, by the by, as well as Basic Fantasy.  I'm greatly looking forward to Stars Without Number 2nd Edition, which I hope will take some of the further refinements he's developed over the course of Other Dust, Spears of the Dawn, and Silent Legions and apply it to SWN.  I'm really rusty with the whole dungeon-crawl thing, but it's a bit like riding a bicycle.

But.  OSR is rooted in fantasy miniature wargaming.  It is, at core, a combat system with other stuff bolted on.  That is perfectly okay--it is what it says on the box, and it does not pretend to be anything else.  It isn't good for everything.  It doesn't fit all tastes, nor should it.  If you want a good slog through a minion-filled dungeon where death is your constant companion and you can look back after hacking the boss monster to kibble with a sense of achievement, it's pretty much perfect.

So on the other side of things, we have 'story' games which are a whole 'nother ball of wax.  I'm not even going to summarize the diversity available here, but these tend to favor shared creative input, a less complicated set of rules (when one is not trying to model reality to the nth decimal place, one can get away without heavy crunch), and usually a setting that is more evocative than comprehensive.  Your distance may vary.  And I tend to like these very much because they cater to my general preferences.  I am, at core, someone who got into the hobby for the storytelling, not the body count.

But.  These games are also pretty 'squishy' and fluid, and someone used to the overarching legalism that is D&D 3.x or (shudder) RoleMaster or GURPS may be forgiven their confusion and difficulty in adjusting from a well-defined, clearly outlined world to a sandbox with less clearly marked parameters.  One of my favorite RPGs of all time is Over the Edge, and I lost count of people who got hung up on char-gen because being given so much creative freedom induced mental paralysis.  I have good friends who recoil at the level of abstraction used in, say, any PbtA game because they LIKE tracking every last coin and bullet.

Thus and so, we have this...argument?  Mutual temper tantrum?  Debate?  Something's going around, and the people involved all seem to be really mad about it, and in all candor I am at my closest on the fringes.  What I hear reminds me of the Star Trek/Star Wars thing...rather like listening to a couple of die hard sports fans arguing over whether baseball or football is the 'true' American sport.  Or whether Coke or Pepsi is the one true cola.  Or whether Advanced Squad Leader or World in Flames is the one true WWII board wargame system.

I get that this is very, very important to some people.  I get that there have been harsh words thrown hither and yon.  I understand that feelings have been hurt, lines in the sand have been crossed, and much agonizing has been passed around the table a few times.  I don't really feel like I have a dog in this fight except insofar as people I know and respect have caught some of the shrapnel.

= = = = =

So I'm watching a couple of youtube video walkthroughs of newer Assassin's Creed games (because I don't have anything newer than ACIII), and it suddenly strikes me that there's something odd going on.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I really like AC.  The music is just plain eight kinds of awesome (my favorite OST hands down, is AC Unity followed shortly by ACIV, ACIII, and the delightful rearrangement for AC Chronicles China).  Start to finish, this is just plain cool stuff.  Yes, it kind of falls down in places, and every so often the promise doesn't quite deliver to spec, but that's okay.  Perfect being the enemy of good and all that, failure to properly exploit certain potential happens, yadda yadda yadda.

So.  AC Syndicate and the equal opportunity asskicking that is Evie Frye.  Much fun.  So neat.  Woman parkour and lethal application of a gentleman's walking stick for the win.  (cough)  Anyway, leaving aside the surprisingly high percentage of female NPCs wandering around Victorian London in trousers...

I may be remembering this incorrectly, but in earlier variations it was a good idea not to just haul off and sputch someone in broad daylight because bystanders would respond with shock and alarm.  Panic.  Screaming.  A hue and cry for the watch or equivalent.  That, at any rate, is what's in my noggin.  This is a game that's supposed to be stealthy, isn't it?

And then Jacob drops down on a heavy right in front of a couple of factory workers, kills the baddie, leaves him bleeding out...right in front of a couple of factory workers.  And just walks off.  No attempt at all to hide.  Said workers, who have just seen a mystery man drop out of the sky and ruthlessly murder one of the factory's security personnel?  Do nothing.  Just another day on the job, man.  Dead guard?  Groovy, baby.  Blood?  What blood?  Never liked that bloke anyway.

I gotta be misremembering.  I just gotta be.

I can understand why innocent bystanders might have been converted to a less responsive mobile terrain type (don't wanna know how complicated it'd be to actually program all that and the processors only have so many cycles to go 'round) but it does sort of break immersion a little bit.

= = = = =

Okay, now I'm off to convert Aledys to 7th Sea 2nd Edition.  Huzzah.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Yet Another Reskinning

On a gaming forum I frequent, someone decided to do a freeform Zootopia sandbox game.  No worries there, but...well, once some of the other characters were posted, I found myself coming up with Story and Role combinations for them.  It being the height of Bad Form to post another game on that particular forum built around the same general lines as that first one, I've held off even though our original GM has vanished.  (The game is doing just fine, by the by, in the hands of the co-GM.)

So right now, this is one of those semi-hacks that I wanna run if time ever permits!


Basically just straight Spirit of 77 with an all Furry cast: because the visual of a jive-fluent Tiger in a white leisure suit and an Afro boogieing on down to the disco on a Saturday night amuses me.  Khan!  Just talkin' about the Tiger.  Can you dig it?

If you must, imagine Zootopia as written and directed by the Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, and Guy Ritchie.  Now crank it up to eleven.  Because as fun as Zootopia is, Judy is a Cop and Cops are The Man, and So77 is all about Sticking It To The Man.

(I was originally going to refer to this as Yet Another Plot Bunny--see what I did there?--but this is pretty much just a cosmetic reskin, much like doing an all-catgirl version of Firefly.)

A Tale of Two Frameworks

This is one of those facepalming moments of D'OH! that happens to me every other day or so.  The circuits go 'click', the proverbial light bulb flickers on, and I'm left going "oh! So that's why..."

I am a big, big fan of Vince Baker's Apocalypse World system.  I'm also a big, big fan of Ed Texeira's Chain Reaction family of miniature wargames.  And it finally occurred to me that they have one interesting feature in common...independently derived, and not entirely identical, but surprisingly close.

They also have a certain tone in common, being fairly narrativist in feel.  (I know, I know, 'how do you write a narrativist wargame'?  Ed's done it. Trust me on this.)  They achieve this by abstracting a whole lotta stuff that most of the gaming industry tries to define to a fare-thee-well and seventeen decimal places, letting you focus on the important stuff*.  This is more apparent in the 'light RPGs' that Ed has published, like By Savvy and Steel, And A Bottle Of Rum, Future Tales, and of course the entire family of All Things Zombie including After The Horsemen...but it's definitely there in 5150 Star Army and 5150 Battalion Commander as well.

So, about that common feature:

In Apocalypse World and all its derivatives, there's a simple three point scale.  Whatever the roll is, whatever you add to the 2d6, there are only three outcomes that matter.

  • Got a ten or better?  You do that thing.
  • Got a seven, eight, or nine?  You do that thing, but it's a mixed success.  There's a complication or a cost.
  • Got a six or less?  In Soviet Union, thing does you.

In anything from Two Hour Wargames, there are only three basic outcomes for almost anything.  You roll 2d6 and compare each individually to your figure's Reputation (the all-encompassing unistat for most of Ed's stuff).  If the die is equal to or less than your Rep, it "passes" the check.

  • Pass Two Dice?  You're good to go.
  • Pass One Die?  You're good to go, mostly...sort of.  Depending on what it was you were doing.
  • Pass No Dice?  This is gonna hurt.

This may well explain why I keep looking at New Hope City (the official setting for 5150 New Beginnings and the Private Eye supplement that goes with it) as a possible setting for Uncharted Worlds!  There's a lot of stuff that could transition smoothly from one game to the other!  Not that it would be perfect.  Oh, Void and Darkness, no, not perfect.  But some of those localized and specific tables could convert to Custom Moves very easily.

(By the by, when you adjust for the various stats in AW, they come fairly close to matching the mechanics for Reputation.  If you have a +2 in something, then you are roughly the same as a Rep 5 Hero for any move using that stat.  I actually didn't expect that when I started a few envelope calculations to check the numbers.  'Course, I'm a crappy statistician, so someone out there can probably prove me utterly mistaken...)

Honorable Mention goes here to Blades in the Dark, which has a whole lot of PbtA in the source code.  John Harper's rules also have a three-stage outcome, depending on the high die showing after a roll is made.

  • 6?  Success.  Maybe even a Critical Success if you have more than one.
  • 4-5?  Sort of a success, mostly.
  • 1-3?  Failblog Fodder.

Blades is a bit more complicated, because there's also a sliding scale of difficulty depending on how much control the PCs have over the risk in question...but that's way too much to cover until after the book is finally published, lest I spill too many secrets.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

7th Sea...Second Edition, First Impressions

Certes, I am remiss!  Grand Master Wick's newest contribution may be found through the following link:

And now, for a few notes and observations (with the customary caveat that your furlongs per fortnight will vary).  As usual, I'm trying to avoid too many spoilers in the process.

1.  This edition is less crunchy and more 'narrativist' than the previous edition.  Personally, I kind of like the new mechanics, as they will be somewhat easier to teach to my Cub.  (If she can handle cribbage, she can handle this!)  Character generation is much simpler and faster, and odds are you'll have something in the ballpark of what you want to do without having to compromise too badly (unless what you want is something decidedly off-genre and odd).  Villains are much simpler to stat and bring into play.  Ships are more abstracted than 1st Ed but no less dramatic.  Improvement is now on a story-based 'fiction first' approach as opposed to XP...and of all the elements of the new edition, this is the one that's going to be the most challenging!

2.  This is a more inclusive world, and not just in matters of melanin distribution!  I'm hoping this trend will continue as we see more of the world in future releases.  (But then, gentle reader, you already know I am not the sort of chap to get the vapors over protagonists of differing coloration, gender identity, or romantic preference.)

3.  There's an eighth kingdom now present.  One of the secret societies has gone from being the oldest to the youngest.  Some of what long-time first ed players know (or think they know) about Thean history and backstory may no longer apply.  The map is bigger than it used to be and some geography has been moved around.

4.  We still have NOM to blame for everything that goes south.  That acronym still makes me giggle* even though we all know it stands for Novus Ordo Mundi and has nothing to do with lolcats.  While I get the utility of a Villains' League of International Evil for plotting purposes, I cannot help feeling a little bit as though this is akin to statting Cthulhu.  Give heroes a discrete list of villains running a vast international conspiracy to do Bad Things, and sooner or later they'll try to do something Heroic.

5.  Sorcery is different, too.  The Castillians no longer have their own flavor of 'maaaaaaaagic!' but get Alchemy in its place.  The Eisen version is now a bit ghoulish, being one part Frankenstein's Lab and one part Potions with Professor Snape--I've seen a couple of comments around to the effect of "this isn't heroic!  This is horrific".  I suspect that was the intent.  Porte is still the fabric-tearing collywobble inflicting madness that it's always been, and we get a new style to go with the new kingdom, but it's less a sort of spellcasting and more knowing how to cut deals with some entities of a powerful nature.    Finally there's a sidebar there that seems to rub some folks the wrong way.  (I generously interpret said sidebar as leaning toward a mix of the Colville and Wanker Rules** in intent, but that's me.)

6.  One thing that's missing: there's no sample adventure.  So we get all this neat stuff, and all these interesting ideas, and a new bunch of mechanics...and then we get turned loose to get ourselves into trouble, playing in the sandbox.  I think that's kind of neat, but thanks to the changes in the system, there's a bit of a learning curve...and I can see where some folks, trained as we all are to finding certain things in games, will feel that lack sorely.

So there you have it!  Now to see how it all plays out...

Oh, yeah. One more thing.  Remember I noted that a lot of this has been streamlined and simplified?  It'd be duck soup to hack this baby for planetary fantasy without bollixing too much of the  underlying rules.  I've been a long-time fan of Chad Unterkoffler's Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies for the flexibility of PDQ# as applied to Space Opera, and it looks very much as though 7th Sea 2e is going to be similar.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Back to the Drawing Board: By Savvy and Steel!

As you can see, the piratical project is kind of sort of a little teensy bit stalled...but since I have a semipermanent jones for swashbuckling, it's difficult for me to stay in withdrawal.  At the moment, thanks to the 7th Sea Second Edition kickstarter, I have all the first edition PDFs on my hard drive which of course puts me in mind of By Savvy and Steel!  Being, as I am, more of a musketeer than a pirate at heart, it's time to grab Ed's answer to Dumas and go to town.  So, at the risk of copypasta out of the rules, here's how I build my new alter ego.

Your character is a Star...always a Star, unless you're playing a one-off skirmish game instead.  This gives a few automatic abilities, which basically boil down to their having a bit of script immunity and more free will in the face of stress (ie for some Reaction Tests).  These are:
  • Star Power
  • Larger Than Life
  • Cheating Death
  • Free Will

Choose his Reputation.  This ranges from a maximum of 6 to a minimum of 2, depending on your Age.  Reputation is a combination of many factors and basically represents how good your character is in a fight.  As per suggestion, Our Hero starts with a Reputation of 5...he's been in a few fights and exudes confidence and charisma.  

Determine his Birthright.  Rolled 2d6 and got a 7, which means he's a Commoner and specifically a Farmboy.  This is about as low as it goes (but only because Beggar isn't on the Birthright table).

Determine starting Fame.  This is depressingly dependent on your family, and just as in real life, you can't choose your parents.  So more dice hit the table, and Wesley here is one of three children born to his rustic sire, but he's not the eldest...and as the luck of the dice gods would have it, he's from the wrong side of Dad's marriage.  None of this helps very much: Fame starts at 0 (but see below) and he gets a single Level 1 Favor (explained later).

Determine Social Standing.  Like Fame, this depends on what your parents do for a living.  As a Farmer, it's a 1.  Bottom of the ladder.  Nowhere to go but up.

Determine Age.  Simple formula of 19 plus 1/2d6 results in a...20.  Just old enough to get into a hell of a lot of trouble.

Choose his Nationality.  And he's an Edensteinian (Edensteiner?).  He's local.

Determine his Attributes.
He gets two of these, since he's a rolled, one chosen.  The roll is 6,4 for Resilient!  (Once during each Encounter the character will treat its first Out of the Fight result as a Stunned result instead. Counts a +1d6 on the Wounded Table.  For choice, I give him Resolute (never count less than 1 success on the Dueling and Taking Control Tables).

Choose his Class.  Military makes sense for him: he's otherwise a garden variety Commoner, but somehow I don't see this kid wanting to stay on the farm.  This gives him the Fast Loader attribute and boosts his Fame to 11 and his Social Standing to 3.  He's also still in the service until he turns 24 and thus has a slightly different set of encounter rules.  For example, if his regiment is called to active duty, he won't be 'adventuring' until after they stand down again, one to three months later.  What happens in the meantime is abstracted.

Get your Weapons.  Ideally, you have a miniature in front of you (I don't), and how that figure is armed determines your loadout.  He's a Soldier now, so he gets a musket (sans bayonet) and I'm going to play merry hell with historical accuracy and give him a sword, too.

Choose your Items.  This is actually one of the parts of the rules that sort of fell down: fortunately, I have a Bottle of Rum, so I know that the usual standard loadout is two Items per point of Rep...and that as per usual, anything can be an item (so long as it does not break the rules of the game).  So yes, he could have a mansion and a yacht, but not a magic sword and a flying carpet.  This ain't Legends of Araby.  In any case, I don't feel like detailing these just yet.

Recruit your Group.  Another legacy bit of text, because in other games from THW you might start off with a few chums.  In BSS, though, you start his career all by your lonesome and recruit Grunts in play through the Carousing encounter.  However, if playing a one-off or a skirmish game, this is indeed when this would be done.

Consult the Campaign Map and decide in which specific Area you want to begin your career.

We'll put his Regiment in the Southern Mountains, smack dab between Bayern and France.  Given that the 30 Years' War is currently in full swing over in the HRE, this ought to be at least somewhat entertaining.

The game starts in January 1625.

Oh, one last detail.  I forgot about this until the very end (can't you tell?) so I snagged a name off of this site (  Since my piratical lass is theoretically Dutch, so is her cousin.

Marthijn Pusters 
Rep 5 Star
Military (Fast Reload)

Out of respect to a certain former co-worker and department supervisor, Marty is assigned to the 4th Royal  Regt, of  Foot commanded by Colonel H. A. Nachtrieb and answering to a Lt. Strucker.  (I never got around to painting those Grenzers, but I can't imagine Han would be unhappy about a promotion!)

And there we have it!  Ready to rock.