The Matrix

You still believe this world is real, that you are real and are visiting a blog…

Follow the white rabbit to find out the truth.

The Matrix is a great movie, with a cosmogony made of machines, very good actors and special effects, and a profound story.

It refers to a lot of religious beliefs, movies and traditions:

1- Morpheus is like the art martial master, teaching to Neo how to become himself, how to express his full potential.
2- Trinity is the Virgin Mary. She is very skilled (just behind Morpheus), and supports Neo with any doubts. She allows him by her faith to rebirth.
3- Cypher is like Judas, the traitor, the one who knows very well Morpheus and the others but will betray them because he doesn’t have faith.
4- Neo is the chosen one, the Jesus of the Matrix, the one who have superpowers and can reboot the entire system. The main difference with Jesus is that he needs the help of Morpheus and Trinity to develop his potential.
5- The white rabbit, like in « Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ». Neo follows it and take the path to the truth.
6- Agent Smith, first only a devil against the free humans like Morpheus, but later he became the Antechrist and will be the main foe of Neo.

It makes sense to imagine a world created by machines and not a God. We are able to create video games with an artificial intelligence, think about we will be able to create in 2100, 2200…
This movie, like others (The Thirteenth Floor) and also books (La Mémoire Double – Bogdanoff), wonder about: What if our world was not real but only a program?

In fact, we still don’t know how the universe was created / created itself, and if there is really a God / several Gods, or not. So we also can add the possibility that our universe is an delusion created by a supercomputer. But we will not be able to to prove that neither.

Personally, I don’t believe that our world is a program made by a superior civilization in order to control us or only to play with us. There are easier means to control people, above all if you are able to create a whole virtual universe.
And one question remains, do we have real bodies in a real world we don’t know, or are we fully virtual? So are we enslaved without knowing it or are we only virtual beings made to entertain their creator?

It is quite close to the question about: If we leave in the real world, do we have a soul?
If not, so we only have our physical body (like the virtual one in Matrix) in this world, real or not.
If so, we have two bodies, the one made of flesh and the soul which goes somewhere else after our death.

The Matrix is a very profound movie, but you also have to watch the Animatrix which are very good and explain why the machines rebelled against the Humans and enslaved them.


Savage Worlds

I start a trilogy of articles for the Matrix trilogy, each of them adding some new rules to create a game in the Matrix world. So think to visit my blog in the next two weeks 😉

Matrix Points

Your character in 2199 has the same attributes and skills than the one in the Matrix (in 1999 or nowadays), except that when in the Matrix he can use Matrix Points.

A Matrix Point gives you the opportunity to make something unbelievable for ordinary people:

  • Jump distance multiplied by 4
  • Pace multiplied by 2
  • +1 action with any penalty
  • +2 bonus for any type of roll
  • +2 to your parry against a fighting, shooting or throwing attack. You can use it when your enemy is attacking.
  • +2 to your toughness, you can also use it when you want.

With two Matrix Points, you can double the previous bonuses, or choose an edge for your turn (without the requirements).
No more bonuses with more than two Matrix Points.

The Wild Cards have one free Matrix Point for rank (Novice, Seasoned…).
They also can take the edge Matrix at each advance.
I don’t give you a rule to create a chosen one like Neo, because I think it is something to put in your story. A chosen one would have unlimited Matrix points, and even the capabilities of using some powers in the real world only against machines.
But I would not allow a character to become a chosen one if he has not at least 10 Matrix Points.
Only a chosen one can fly.

A character recovers 1 Matrix Point per hour.
You can’t use the power edges.

Phone Box

The phone box is the link between the Matrix and the real world.

When you call your operator in the real world to know where is the closer phone box, you roll 1d20. The phone box is at a distance of 1d20 rounds of walk.

Once in the phone box or with another corded phone, you need  3 turns to leave the Matrix.
The first round you take the phone and get into communication with the operator.
The second round the process begins, the operator is at work.
The third round you disappear and the phone dangle from its wire.

Accelerated Learning

The accelerated learning in the Matrix is a great edge to be more skilled than your enemies.

This edge (which replaces the free edge for humans) gives you 1 free skill point per rank (Novice, Seasoned…).
This skill point can be used to improve a skill (lower or greater than its attribute) or to get a new skill, for the whole time you spend in the Matrix before going back to the real world.

Scenario

Some tips to create your scenario.
Because Matrix is a big program, you can try to create a scenario with the logic of a program.

If your players do X, happen Y1, if partially, happen Y2, and if not Y3.

You can create loops, for example they have to get informations from someone, they failed a first time, they have to try again until they succeed.

You can also try to have a scenario more binary. Either you fail and die and or you succeed.

Those are just ideas I wanted to share with you 😉

Characters

No, I didn’t made the stat-block for Neo, you can hate me ^^, but I think it is not relevant as your players (or one of them, the best) are supposed to become the chosen one.

Streetwise: ability to get information from escaping matrix programs, or in the real life from other humans.
Knowledge (Matrix) includes computing.

I tried to make the characters as badass as their are in the movies. But you can of course decrease their stats in order to put them into your story.
Agent Smith is very very strong, and if you keep him as he is, find another foes for your players until they are Veterans. For example policemen, soldiers, security guards. You also can create assistants of Agent Smith with less edges and lower skills.

Morpheus

Morpheus
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strenght d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Athletics d8, Driving d8, Fighting d12, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Matrix) d10, Notice d10, Persuasion d10, Piloting d8, Repair d8, Shooting d12, Stealth d8, Streetwise d6, Taunt d8, Throwing d10, Tracking d8
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 9; Toughness: 8 (armor 1)
Hindrances: Wanted (major), Loyal
Edges: Alertness, Block, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Extraction, Martial Artist, Nerves of Steel, Command, Inspire, Charismatic, Connections, Accelerated Learning
Equipment: Leather cloak, the weapons you want
Matrix Points:
10

Trinity

Trinity
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d8, Spirit d12, Strenght d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d12, Driving d12, Fighting d12, Intimidation d4, Knowledge (Matrix) d8, Notice d10, Persuasion d6, Piloting d12, Repair d10, Shooting d12, Stealth d8, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4, Throwing d12, Tracking d12
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 7 (armor 1)
Hindrances: Wanted (major), Loyal
Edges: Ambidextrous, Fleet-Footed, Combat Reflexes, Counterattack, Extraction, Frenzy, Level Headed, Steady Hands, Two-Fisted, Ace, Accelerated Learning
Equipment: Leather cloak, two Glock 17
Matrix Points:
6

Cypher

Cypher
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d12, Spirit d10, Strenght d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Driving d6, Fighting d10, Knowledge (Matrix) d12, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Piloting d6, Repair d6, Shooting d10, Stealth d10, Streetwise d8, Taunt d6, Throwing d8, Tracking d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7(armor 1)
Hindrances: Greedy (major), Vengeful (minor)
Edges: Luck, Quick, Scavenger, Accelerated Learning
Equipment: Leather cloak
Matrix Points:
2

Agent Smith

Agent Smith
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d12, Spirit d12, Strenght d12, Vigor d12
Skills: Athletics d12, Driving d12, Fighting d12, Intimidation d12, Knowledge (Matrix) d12, Notice d12, Persuasion d12, Piloting d12, Repair d12, Shooting d12, Stealth d12, Streetwise d12, Taunt d12, Throwing d12, Tracking d12
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 8
Hindrances: Arrogant
Edges: Alertness, Ambidextrous, Fleet-Footed, Block, Brawler, Combat Reflexes, Counterattack, Improved Dodge, First Strike, Harder to Kill, Killer Instinct, Martial Artist, Improved Nerves of Steel, Quick Draw, Steady Hands, Sweep, Trademark Weapon, Two-Fisted, Charismatic, Common Bond (between Agents), Strong Willed, Accelerated Learning
Equipment: Black suit with black sunglasses, a Desert Eagle
Matrix Points:
10
Terror

Gladiator (En)

Gladiator

Movie

Gladiator, released in 2000, is one the best movie I ever saw in my life.

You watch the fall of Maximus Decimus Meridius, a Roman General, because of the ambition of the Emperor’s son Commodus. He then loses his army, his family, then his found by slavers and sold to Proximo, a gladiator merchant.

Fight after fight, he became famous and the Emperor Commodus has to challenge him to a duel in the Colosseum in order to keep the crowd with him. They both die during the fight and Maximum received an honorable funeral as a soldier of Rome.

Gladiator is a very good movie with Russell Crowe as main actor, beautiful landscapes, amazing soundtrack, and an interesting scenario. It is quite emotionnally strong as you follow the fall of this Roman general who is betrayed by the Emperor’s son because the Emperor prefers him to his own heir.

I always have loved the Roman Empire, and I am still wondering what would look like the world if it has won its wars against the different Gaul tribes. The Romans were so technologically advanced, and thanks to the Greek they nearly already knew that Earth is spherical.
Maybe we might have stepped on the surface of the Moon in 1800? Who knows…

Roman Empire


Savage Worlds

Roman Formations

I give you some rules to use the Roman infantry tactics in your game, and it is useful even if you don’t play during the Roman era.

I assume that there is one character on each square or 2″ area. To make it easier, I also assume that a formation is possible with at least 9 people.

A formation implies that all the characters do the same thing. Split a formation is better if you are stronger or far more skilled than your enemy.

It takes only 1 turn to go into formation or to split one.
Novice and Seasoned soldiers take 2 turns to switch formation, Veteran ones take 1 turn.

The barbarians never use formations, but a common Roman legionary has Strenght and Vigor d8, and he suffers a -1 penalty in Fighting for duel fights because his training is based on formations.

  • Repellere equites (« repel horsemen/knights ») was the formation used to resist cavalry. The legionaries would assume a square formation, holding their pila as spears in the space between their shields and strung together shoulder to shoulder.

With this formation, every soldier gains a +2 bonus to it’s fighting roll and to it’s parry against cavalry.
It gives also a -1 penalty for archers wanting to aim at a soldier in such a formation.
Siege weapons have a +1 bonus to hit the soldiers in these formations.

  • At the command iacere pila, the legionaries hurled their pila at the enemy.

This simultaneous ranged attack gives a +1 bonus to the throwing rolls in an area of 4″ by 4″ squares.
You can’t choose the square formation after this attack, they no longer have their pila.

  • At the command cuneum formate, the infantry formed a wedge to charge and break enemy lines. This formation was used as a shock tactic.

This formation is really useful to attack, it gives to each soldier a +2 bonus to it’s fighting roll, but also a -1 penalty to it’s parry.

  • At the command contendite vestra sponte, the legionaries assumed an aggressive stance and attacked every opponent they faced.

This order gives a +1 bonus to the fighting roll but also a -1 penalty to parry.

  • At the command orbem formate, the legionaries assumed a circle-like formation with the archers placed in the midst of and behind the legionaries providing missile fire support. This tactic was used mainly when a small number of legionaries had to hold a position and were surrounded by enemies.

This formation doesn’t give any bonus or penalty, but your archers are defended by the legionaries. This is a formation with two units, for example 9 legionaries in circle, and some archers in the midst.
Siege weapons have a +1 bonus to hit the soldiers in these formations.

  • At the command ciringite frontem, the legionaries held their position.

This order gives a +1 bonus to each soldier for it’s Spirit roll to recover from shaken or for a terror roll.

  • At the command frontem allargate, a scattered formation was adopted.

This formation is the best one against siege weapons because it gives to them a -2 penalty to aim.
It also negates a potential bonus for a simultaneous archers attack.

  • At the command testudinem formate, the legionaries assumed the testudo (tortoise) formation. This was slow moving but almost impenetrable to enemy fire, and thus very effective during sieges and/or when facing off against enemy archers. However the testudo formation didn’t allow for effective close combat and therefore it was used when the enemy were far enough away so as the legionaries could get into another formation before being attacked.

The famous tortoise formation gives a -3 penalty to ennemy archers and negate a potential bonus for a simultaneous attack.
Siege weapons have a +1 bonus to hit the soldiers in these formations.
Soldiers in this formation move with a pace of 4″, and have -1 penalty to their fighting rolls.

Roman Tortoise

  • At the command tecombre, the legionaries would break the Testudo formation and revert to their previous formation.

No special effect, the soldiers only switch formation.

  • At the command Agmen formate, the legionaries assumed a square formation, which was also the typical shape of a century in battle.

With this formation, every soldier gains a +1 bonus to it’s fighting roll and to it’s parry against on foot soldiers.
It gives also a +1 penalty to enemy archers to their shooting roll.
Siege weapons have a +1 bonus to hit the soldiers in these formations.

Gladiators Arena

You may want to put your players into an antique arena and make them fights like lions to survive.

I give you the rules to play this and create a good moment for your adventure.

Here is the arena map from Tomas Reichmann, you can print it and the square (2″ per square) are already showed.
There are 5 squares between a statue and black pillar.

Arena

There are four entrances (North, South, East, West).
The North one is four legionaries if the gladiators rebels, in order to kill them and defend the plebs.
The South one is four the animals, often lions to fight against the gladiators.
The East and West ones are for gladiators. Each slaver uses his allocated entrance.

The Emperor is of course present at the fights, and the victorious gladiator can hope to be free from his slavers if he was brave enough and entertained the plebs.

This is how i imagine a common fight:

1- Your players fight against a team of equivalent skills and equipment, Extras or Wild Cards.
2- When half a team or half of the total gladiators are dead or with 4 wounds, the lions enter the arena.
There are as many lions as half the total number of gladiators, but they are only Extras.
3- When the lions are all dead, the gladiators keep fighting against each others.
4- When a team has been killed, the Emperor decides whether it is a team victory (then the gladiators stay slaves and will fight once again), or a deathmath, the ultimate survivor might then have a chance to be free

The Emperor makes his decision either with a thumb up or a thumb down, like in the movie Gladiator.
Each time a gladiator kills another one, or has a joker for his initiative, or gets two raises, he gets 1 plebs point in his favor. The crowd starts with an opinion of -5 about the gladiators.
So, when a team or the ultimate survivor has killed all its opponents, you roll 1d6 and apply the popularity modifier, if the score is 4 or higher, it is a success. Either the team will fight another time together, or the ultimate survivor is freed.

Have a good figth 😉

Mortal Kombat (En)

The video games

Mortal Kombat is one of the cornerstone of the video games for more than 20 years.

The first game was released in 1992, the last in 2015, and between both, there were 11 games which make this video game collection one of the best to have.

The distinctive feature of Mortal Kombat, unlike Dead or Alive or Tekken, is its high level of violence and the famous Fatalities and Babalities (which turn the opponent into a baby version).

Mortal Kombat is hard, you have to know the sequences of buttons for each character, and above all for your favorite one if you want to finish the game. It is not intuitive like Dead or Alive, the learning curve might be long, but you have a lot of pleasure when you master your character and do great moves and end the fight with a bloody Fatality.

Something also good in Mortal Kombat is that you can often use the arena against your opponent to do a Stage Fatality.
Whoever has played Mortal Kombat II remembers the Kombat Tomb and its Fatality with the uppercut to the ceiling full of spikes.

I played Mortal Kombat I, II and III, and played it again with Deadly Alliance in 2002. So I am not the biggest fan on Earth, and I really liked this universe with the movies.

The movies

Two movies, Mortal Kombat (1995) and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), based upon the video games, add interesting elements to the Mortal Kombat world.

For me they are good movies and I would love to watch a new one with nowadays technology for special effects.

You can see Christophe Lambert playing Raiden (the electric sorcerer), as well as a lot of characters, my favorite one being Scorpion (Come Here!).

The fights are good, not all I must admit, but I really love the one between Liu Kang and Reptile in the first movie.
I also like Goro, the mutant fighter with 4 arms, weird and fun character.

I advice you to watch them, be indulgent with the special effects, and take pleasure watching good fights in a dark fantazy world with Asian inspiration.


Savage Worlds

Savage Worlds is a universal role-playing game system edited by Pinnacle Entertainment Group, which allows you to play narrative or minature-based games. It is a very good system which makes easier the work for the Game Master and brings joy and fun at your table. You can buy it for only 10$ and it gives you access to all my free settings and home-made rules, as well as to the official and licensed settings.

Special rules

Mortal Worlds (nice name isn’t it?) is a world about fights, and to manage these fights I give you some home-made rules and the statblocks for some characters of Mortal Kombat I like.

Fighting Styles

I use the rules I made for Fight Club with some modifications.

You can choose a fighting expertise as a specialization which cost as much as increasing a skill that is equal to or greater than its linked attribute, or 1 skill point at the character creation.

Feel free to change the name of the martial art for a fighting style. For example the Pi Gua of Scorpion gives him +1 damage like Muay Thai.

Wrestling

Expert in Wrestling and Judo, you have a +1 bonus to grapple your enemy (Judo), or to make damage when you have grappled him or her (Wrestling).

Aggressive Martial Art

Expert in Free Fight and Boxing, your numerous fights made you tougher and stronger. You get either +1 in toughness (Free fight) or for damage (Muay Thai).

Dexterity Martial Art

You know when and where your enemy will hit, and also when and where to strike thanks to a hard training. You get either +1 in parry (Aïkido) or to your fighting roll (Karate).

Fatality

When your opponent has suffered 4 wounds, it is time to finish him!

With a benny, you can try to finish your opponent if you succeed a Fighting roll.

A Fatality kills definitely your opponent, restores your health and gives you 1 point of reputation.

Reputation points are only a way to be reputed in the face of the Gods and among the other fighters.

You can only finish a Wild Cart opponent, the extras are not a sufficient challenge for your skills.

Magic

There is no powerpoint in Mortal Kombat. A lot of fighters have magic powers but their use is unlimited.
However, the best magic powers are hard to cast and require a score of 6 or even 8.

This is a more simple rule than the « No Power Points » of the core book because there aren’t any backlash neither.
With a raise, add 1d6 damage.

Arenas

Arenas are a major element of a good fight. They are sacred places where 2 or more opponents will test their skills at the risk of losing their life.

Some arenas are also dangerous and can be used by a fighter to wound his opponent.

I will give you the rules for some arenas of the Mortal Kombat games.

Dead Pool

Dead Pool

The acid of the Dead Pool is a fatal threat to the fighters.

If you succeed to push your opponent into the acid pool, he is killed instantly.

Living Forest

Living Forest

The conscious and nasty trees of the living forest want to kill the fighters to take their souls.

Each time a fighter is only 2″ from a tree, he has to resist a Grappling action. The tree has a strenght of D12+2 and D6 in Fighting.

Soul Chamber

Soul Chamber

The sould chamber is a nightmare for every fighter. If you die there, your soul is absorbed and you come back to life as an undead warrior.

Every 4 turns, the opponents have to resist a Spirit test against the soul chamber (Spirit D12+2). With a failure, they suffer 1 wound.

Hell

Hell

The lava is a very dangerous threat to the fighters. Sometimes a lava ball crosses the room and aims randomly a fighter. The one who is aimed has to succeed an Agility roll (6), or suffers 3d6 fire damage.

Goro’s Lair

Goro Lair

The Goro’s Lair is a place of torture and death. Spikes and sharped bones are everywhere and inflict 2d6 damage.

You can push an opponent on a wall (which has spikes), or make him fall on the ground and hit the sharped bones.

It is also the arena where to do an uppercut Fatality 😉

Characters

These characters (Wild Cards) can be foes or allies for your players. They are stronger, faster and smarter, and are archetypes to structure your game and put real challenges on the path of your players.

Scorpion

Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d6, Spirit d12, Strenght d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d12+2, Arcana d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 8; Parry: 9; Toughness: 8(armor 1)
Edges: Ambidextrous, Fleet-Footed, Improved Counterattack, Improved Martial Artist, Improved Nerves of Steel, No Mercy, Two-Fisted
Equipment: Stinger, range 4/8/12, damage 2d4 (per turn), the target is automatically grappled if hit and then come back to Scorpion at a pace of 8. The victim has to succeed a Strenght roll at 6 to be get free.
Powers:
Fireball (6), range 12/24/48, duration instant, damage 2d8 on a medium template

Raiden

Raiden

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d10, Spirit d12, Strenght d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d10, Arcana d12
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 9; Toughness: 6
Edges: Improved Block, Improved Frenzy, Improved Level Headed, Improved Sweep, Improved Trademark Weapon (Staff)
Equipment: Staff
Powers:
Bolt (4), range 12/24/48, duration instant, damage 2d6
Energy ball (6), range 12/24/48, duration 2 turns, damage 2d8 damage on a medium template
Storm (8), range 12/24/48, duration 3 turns, damage 2d10 on a large template

Sub-Zero

Sub-Zero

Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d6, Spirit d12, Strenght d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d12+2, Arcana d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 9; Toughness: 8(armor 1)
Edges: Ambidextrous, Quick, Improved First Strike, Improved Martial Artist, Improved Nerves of Steel, No Mercy, Two-Fisted
Powers:
IceTouch (6), range touch, duration 3 turns, no damage but toughness halved and the target is frozen (no action allowed)
IceWave (8), range cone template, duration 3 turns, no damage but toughness halved and the targets are frozen

Liu Kang

Liu Kang

Attributes: Agility d12+2, Smarts d6, Spirit d12, Strenght d10, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d12+2, Arcana d10
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 9; Toughness: 8
Edges: Ambidextrous, Combat Reflexes, Improved Dodge, Improved Extraction, Improved Frenzy, Giant Killer, Hard to Kill, Improved Nerves of Steel, Two-Fisted
Powers:
FireFists (6), range touch, duration 2 turns, add 1d4 to unarmed damage
Blast of Light (8), range 12/24/48, duration instant, 2d10 damage

Goro

Goro

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d12, Strenght d12+2, Vigor d12+2
Skills: Fighting D12
Charisma: 0; Pace: 4; Parry: 8; Toughness: 10
Edges: Ambidextrous (pair of arms), Berserk, Brawny, Brawler, Bruiser, Improved Nerves of Steel, No Mercy, Four Fisted (pair of arms).
Goro can only attack two times per turn despite his 4 arms, but he has +2 to Grapple (Fighting and Strenght rolls)

 

Tell me by leaving a comment if you want more characters with their stats.

And now, Test Your Might 😉

RPG and Music

Music and RPG

Manage music

Say Hello to the SonicSpider, I give you the stats for such a dangerous creature at the end of the article 😉


Music can be an important part of a role-playing game session.

Music helps a lot to set the mood either for an entire session or for a precise moment, for example when your players are entering into a tavern or a cold dungeon.

But music can also disturb your players or bother you. Either the music is not appropriate with what your players are doing, or you can have to switch too often to get the right music, so you are less willing to improvise or listen to your players.

Here are my different advice to manage music during your game:

  • Sometimes no music is better than the wrong one, don’t feel obliged to put music
  • The most important is to be able to speak, so don’t let the music become annoying
  • If you want to stay attentive and able to improvise, choose a playlist as the background for the entire game
  • Choose your music before the game if you want to manage it precisely, but keep in mind that you have to be ready to improvise and put your playlist aside
  • You can let a player manage music if it isn’t really important to set the mood
  • About sound effects, it is really a pain in the neck to manage, even with a good app, so leave them

What kind of music?

After my general advice, I will now share with you some playlists than seems good to me according to the world you are playing in.

Space Opera

A space opera game needs a background ambiant music allowing reverie. Your players must feel that everything is possible and that they are tiny living beings in a huge universe.

Epicuros – Interstellar / Cosmos – Volume 1 / Space Ambiant Mix 1

Cyberpunk

For a cyberpunk game, you need a more violent music, like minimal techno or dubstep. The music has to get real the dynamism and bustle of these huge megalopolis leading the world.

Dark Cybergoth Mix / Future Underground / Cyberpunk Music Mix

Cthulhu

An investigation about some dark hidden Gods needs some creepy music. You have to set a tense, disturbing or even morbid mood. Your players must feel that they are not in security and that dangerous threats are hidden in the dark.

Nyarlathotep 1 / Cthulhu / Jazz Playlist

Crime and Gangs

If you play a game in a mafia style, choose italian or russian mafia movies soundtracks. The mood needs to be calm, the traitors are coldly assassinated.

The Godfather II / Gangster Hits / Eastern Promises / Leon

If you play in a modern era, for example a Grand Theft Auto like game, choose gangsta rap and trap music, you need an agressive music. Your players are not here to negotiate but to Get Rich or Die Tryin’!

Stitches / Gangsta Trap mix / Best Rap

Fantazy

Dragons, fairies, elves, dwarfs… A lot of music are possible for a fantazy game. Try to have a music for a landscape (moutains, plains, oceans…) and/or for a kingdom (elves, orcs, humans, devils…).

Elves Lord of the Ring / Dwarf music / Ocean / Fantazy / Fantazy music / Witch / Celtic / Desert / Asia / Fairy

Demonic

The demonic world is violent, cruel, bloody and bloodthirsty. It is also the kingdom of fire and lava. You need an ambiant music which is also violent and dark. Your players should feel unconfortable.

Devil amongst us / Angel music

Youtube channels

Here a good Youtube channel to have music for a special moment or a particular place.

Peter Crowley Fantasy Dream

And another for all your creepy needs.

Cryo Chamber


SonicSpider

The SonicSpider is a technological monster which paralyzes and kills its enemies with sonic waves. You can encounter it in high-security labs, military secret bases or even in the ruins of antique lost worlds.

Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strenght d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d10, Notice d12, Shooting d10
Charisma: 0; Pace: 10; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (2)
Special abilities: Armor 2, Construct, Fearless, Sensors (halve penalties for darkness, detect sounds), Wall Walker (Pace 10), Stun (-2 penalty)
Sonic attack: 
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d8 for the first target, then 2d6 for the next, then 2d4 for the third and finally 1d4 for the last.
RoF: 1
Shots: infinite
Notes: The sonic attack ignores armor and bounces on walls which are then considered as a target. For example, in a L-shaped corridor, the sonic wave could attack and hit the first target, then bounces two times and hit the hidden second target with 1d4.
Claws: Str+d6

GoldenEye 007 (En)

Goldeneye

GoldenEye Movie

The seventeeth James Bond movie released in 1995 with the irreplaceable Pierce Brosnan (007) and Sean Bean (006-Janus).

The name GoldenEye pays homage to Ian Fleming (James Bond’s creator) because he worked on an operation called GoldenEye during the Spanish Civil War.

GoldenEye takes place during the Cold War, my favorite era for fictional stories. Nothing is more badass than secret operations during winter to destroy a hidden military base storing nuclear missiles.
GoldenEye, Red Alert, I grew up with this Cold War imagination and I love it.
I love snow, I love high-tech military devices, I love spies, I love English and Russian and I love nuclear weapons. Think about the movie « Lost in Space », this is again a fiction based upon the Cold War with the West forced to send a ship into space because they are losing the war against the Reds.

About GoldenEye, I prefer two scenes over the rest, at the beginning when 007 throws himself from the cliff to catch the plane, and at the end when he is driving a tank in St. Petersburg’s streets.

This is a great movie, the best amongst James Bond movies and Pierce Brosnan was the best James Bond.

Goldeneye logo

GoldenEye Game

Released in 1997 on Nintendo 64, GoldenEye 007 is one of the main FPS of the video game history because the campaign and the several challenges are excellent, as well as the multiplayer mode, 4 players on the same TV, the good old days…

This game was hard but the story was very interesting and really close to the movie. The gameplay was perfect, you had plenty of weapons and gadgets, you had sometimes to be stealth to avoid too many enemies in a gunfire, and you could start again a level to end it faster to unlock bonuses.

GoldenEye 007 is one of the main game of the video game history, a masterpiece among FPS and on Nintendo 64. I remember spending hours to unlock the bonus and on multiplayer with my friends. My favorite weapons were the RC-P90 and DD44 Dostovei. Later I discovered Counter Strike, Battlefield, Call of Duty, but my first FPS was GoldenEye 007 😉


Savage Worlds

It would not be interesting to have the stat-blocks for 006 and 007 because who would want to track James Bond? I prefer to give you the rules for some weird tools and weapons, so you can use it in your own spy setting which I hope will take place during Cold War 🙂

Laser Watch

Laser Watch
Range: 1
Damage: 2d10
RoF: 1
Cost: 1000
Shots: 10
Notes: AP6, used to cut through portion of floors or walls.

Moonraker Laser

Moonraker Laser
Range: 15/30/60
Damage: 2d8
RoF: 3
Cost: 2000
Shots: unlimited
Notes: AP2, Auto

Golden Gun

Golden Gun
Range: 15/30/60
Damage: 4 wounds
RoF: 1
Cost: 5000, a bullet cost 200
Shots: 1
Notes: 4 wounds against all organic enemies if hit

Training Day (En)

Training Day

« To protect the sheep you gotta catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf. »

The best movie of Denzel Washington and the best movie about a corrupted cop, so, maybe the best movie..?

Training Day is the fight between a skillful corrupted narcotics detective (Alonzo Harris/Denzel Washington) and a young upstanding police officer (Jake Hoyt/Ethan Hawke) in Los Angeles.

Jake is really the good guy. He doesn’t take drugs, he works by the book and he has a family.
Alonzo is the bad guy, he doesn’t really have a family, he loves dirty money, frighten a lot of criminals for his own interests, and doesn’t work by the rule.

Some think this movie is racist, either against Black or White people. I think you can watch this movie without focusing on the skin color.
Los Angeles has a lot of hoods inhabited by African-Americans or Latino-Americans.
So from a scriptwriter viewpoint, it was a good idea to make the crooked cop played by a Black actor. The character surely came from one of the LA’s hood and this is why he is so streetwise.
The honest cop is White and we can imagine that he came from a residential suburb. He is more idealistic and want to make a good career. He doesn’t have an intuitive knowledge of the streets, so he works by the rule.

So I think focusing on the skin color is not interesting. The plot is about two men having the same job but doing it very differently. It also shows us how narcotics cops can easily get corrupted because with drugs a lot of money is at stake, and among Alonzo’s men, there are White men.

Why this movie is excellent?
– A story with the good and the bad cop, always good.
– The movie takes place in Los Angeles, the ideal city for a cop story.
– Denzel Washington, really really good in this role of a corrupted violent cop.
– The relation between Jake and Alonzo, tense, doomed from the beginning.
– Dr Dre music, melodic et gangsta at the same time.

Denzel Washington (Alonzo)

If you like movies in LA, about cops, drugs and quite violent, I advice you Training Day 😉


Savage Worlds

Alonzo Harris is a narcotics detective, working only with his own unit. Your players could have to work with him (and discover his double dealing) or to investigate about him and his unit.

Jake Hoyt, a police officer, could be investigating about Alonzo and so help the players. He could also be looking into the players if they get themselves corrupted.

Alonzo Harris

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d10, Strenght d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics (Str, Climbing + Swimming) d8, Driving d10, Fighting d10, Intimidation d12, Investigation d12, Knowledge (Police rules; drugs) d12, Lockpicking d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d10, Shooting d10, Stealth d8, Streetwise d12, Taunt d12, Throwing d6, Tracking d8
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Arrogant, Greedy, Vengeful
Edges: Alertness, Ambidextrous, Brave, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Extraction, First Strike, Level Headed, Nerves of Steel, No Mercy, Two-Fisted, Investigator, Charismatic, Strong Willed
Equipment: a Kevlar Vest, a 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo, two Smith & Wesson 4506 (.45 ACP)

Jake Hoyt

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strenght d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics (Str, Climbing + Swimming) d8, Driving d10, Fighting d10, Intimidation d6, Investigation d12, Knowledge (Police rules) d12, Lockpincking d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Shooting d10, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8, Taunt d4, Throwing d6, Tracking d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Pacifist
Edges: Fleet-Footed, Great Luck, Counterattack, Sweep, Investigator
Equipment: a Kevlar Vest, a Beretta 92FS (9mm), an unmarked Ford Crown Victoria police car

Racism for cops/criminals relations

I do not promote racism, but in a police setting taking place in LA, I think it is more realistic to know how to handle this problem.
It could also be important if you put the Russian and Albanian mafias, along with Arab families and Black gangs in an European city. To understand it, watch Pusher 😉

The rule is simple, you have a penalty of -2 in Charisma with people who don’t have the same origin than you, and only for relations between cops and criminals or between criminals.
You can focus on skin color: White / Black / Hispanic / Asian, or you can go into the details: Irish, WASP… / African-Americans, Africans… / Japanese, Chinese… / etc.
You could also imagine family wars between Italian people or other mafias, which then replace the skin color issue. You can find some ideas about this in Sons of Anarchy.

For example, A White Irish cop will have a -2 penalty in Charisma with Italian criminals, and -4 with non-white criminals. Try now to do it in a diplomatic way 😉

With this rule, you can make the mission for your playable-characters, if they are police officers, more dangerous. Maybe there ain’t any Hispanic in their unit, so it will be harder to find the local drug lord in a Hispanic hood. They will have to use force, or find a Hispanic fink to help them, or do a favor to an important person of the hood (which is the first step to become a crooked cop).

Feel free to use this or not. I know it might be quite hard to put racism in a game, and remember that nothing never prevent criminals from making money.

Dr Dre

If I were the GM of a Training Day one-shot, I would obviously put Dr Dre music to set the mood 😉

Fight Club (En)

Fight Club

« Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. »

Characters

THE must-see movie dedicated to psychiatric disorders and a stunning criticism of our society, still topical nowadays, more than ever.

Fight Club is a punch in the face, you can’t be indifferent to its story and its characters. Everything is good. Everything!

Like Trump would say, it’s a good deal ^^

You also have to watch it several times to really understand it and have your own opinion about the characters.
Is Jack dreaming? We know he is suffering of insomnia, so maybe he got crazy.
Is Tyler Durden an alter ego of Jack? Is he another character?
Is Marla an hallucination? Another personality of Jack? A real woman?

All these questions will pop up in your mind during and after the movie. A lot of answers are also available online, but I don’t know if there is one which is the good one.

For me, Jack Durden suffers from dissociative identity disorder, so Tyler is an invisible counterpart who inspires Jack to exceed his own fears and limits. He is like an imp who gives you advice which are quite good at first, for instance to assert yourself, but also very destructive in the long term.

As for Marla, I think she is a real person, surely disturbed and maybe borderline or bipolar, who is the only one who can stand Jack/Tyler and his madness.

Fight Club has also a very good soundtrack and the subliminal images are really well used and fun.

It is also one of the best movie of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Helena Bonham Carter is also very good, far more than in all these bland movies where she is playing with Johnny Depp.

Fight Club is at the same time brutal and very subtle, a unique movie you will remember.

Criticism of our Western society

« The things you own end up owning you. »
Tyler Durden

You want to get back to the roots, watch this movie!
Fight Club brings you back at the age when we were only monkeys: eat, fight, fuck. The three primary needs for a living organism.
Eat (and drink) to stay alive.
Fight to defend yourself and your territory.
Fuck to perpetuate the species.

But you don’t need to live as an animal, I reassure you. This movie shows us how our materialistic society kills us, slowly but surely.

Your house, your car(s), your smartphone (especially the Iphone), your clothes… You work to get all those things, you work harder and harder to buy more and more expensive gizmos.
Do you need all this stuff? Could you live with less to have more time? Do you think that work is really good for you?
Do we need to spend all our time working? Is it the best use of our time for ourselves and the society?

I don’t think so. It is interesting and motivating to do what you like or even love. I like to write articles on my blog. But we all know that a lot of jobs that have to be done can’t be engaging. So why do we want a so fast society? Are we competing with an alien race ?

Getting money shouldn’t be the main objective of a human life. It creates unbalanced, unstable and unfair societies.
Have hobbies, free time, take your time, see your family and friends. Money is just a tool, stop treating it as a goal and live life to the full 😉


Savage Worlds

Fight Club is definitely a good basis for your own setting if you want to play in a contemporay anarcho-revolutionary world.

Fight Club is also about fighting and psychiatric disorders, so I will give you some house rules about this.

Psychiatric Disorders

Each player will choose randomly one psychiatric disorder (the list below is not exhaustive) as a major hindrance for his character. They do not tell each other what is their psychiatric disorder.

The definitions, symptoms and behaviors may be quite far from reality, but I am only using these disorders to create something fun for a roleplaying game.

Bipolar

A bipolar has shift in mood, energy and activity level that last at least 7 days.
At the beginning of a session (or every 4 hours), roll 1d6, on 5-6, you suffers from a manic episode for this session (or 4 hours).
You have a penalty of -2 in Charisma and for all your rolls.

Borderline

A borderline is very unstable in mood, behavior and functioning and tends to be impulsive.
At the beginning of a fight or another important moment divised in rounds, roll 1d6.
On 1-2: you experience an intense episode of anger for the fight: -2 in Parry and +2 for strength damage.
On 3-4: you experience an intense episode of depression: -2 to natural healing and to recover from shaken
On 5-6: you experience an intense episode of anxiety: 1 point of fatigue and -2 for Spirit and Smarts roll

Dissociative identity disorder

You have you too your own Tyler Durden, your alter ego you are the only one to see.
It gives you a weird behavior (to who are you speaking to?) and can make you take crazy decisions.
When the GM considers it useful, it can ask you to do a Spirit roll (4). With a failure, you have to take another decision, a decision that will put you at risk of course, but the reward might be greater.
If you are up to and the GM agrees, you also can have a second character sheet and deepen your dissociative identity disorder.

Panic disorder

You suffers regularly from panic attacks which make you believe something really bad is going to happen. It is an episode of intense fear including palpitations, sweating, numbness…
At the beginning of a fight or another important moment divised in rounds, roll 1d6.
On 5-6, you suffer from a panic attack.  You also suffer from a panic attack after a failure for a Terror test.
You have a penalty of -4 in Charisma, get 2 points of fatigue and will run away from the source of your fear.

Psychopath

Antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, manipulative, and bold, disinhibited, egotistical traits, you are all this, your comrades are happy to have you by their side 🙂
Play a psychopath is intense in roleplay, you play only for yourself and the others are only tools for you. When they become useless, you kill them, no remorse. Being manipulative, it will take some time for them to understand your problem, but when they do, you will surely end bad.
GM, make the player with the psychopath character roll a dice like for the other disorders. It will be harder to notice him/her that way.
The good point is that you don’t feel fear, so no Terror test.

Schizophrenia

Sometimes you lose touch with reality with hallucinations, delusions, and though and movement disorders. You don’t have several personalities, you feel far away from the real world.
At the beginning of a fight or another important moment divised in rounds, roll 1d6.
On 5-6, you suffer from a psychosis crisis worse than usual, making you violent and suicidal.
You have a penalty of -2 in Charisma and Parry, and if you can’t attack someone, you attack yourself (automatic success, Strength damage).

Fighting

You can choose a fighting expertise as a specialization which cost as much as increasing a skill that is equal to or greater than its linked attribute, or 1 skill point at the character creation.

Wrestling

Expert in Wrestling and Judo, you have a +1 bonus to grapple your enemy (Judo), or to make damage when you have grappled him or her (Wrestling).

Combat Sport

Expert in Free Fight and Boxing, your numerous fights made you tougher and stronger. You get either +1 in toughness (Free fight) or for damage (Muay Thai).

Martial Art

You know when and where your enemy will hit, and also when and where to strike thanks to a hard training. You get either +1 in parry (Aïkido) or to your fighting roll (Karate).

Non-playable Characters

Jack/Tyler Durden could be the leader of an army made of anarchists, workers, unemployed…
Your players have recently joined the secret organization and will learn to know who is Mr Durden and his girlfriend Marla 😉

Jack Durden

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strenght d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics (Str, Climbing + Swimming) d8, Driving d6, Fighting d8, Investigation d10, Knowledge (Office work; Automotive industry) d10, Notice d6, Persuasion d8, Stealth d6, Streetwise d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Dissociative identity disorder
Edges: Rich, Filthy Rich
Equipment: An old house in an abandoned industrial district

Tyler Durden

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d10, Strenght d8, Vigor d10
Skills: Athletics (Str, Climbing + Swimming) d10, Driving d8, Fighting d10, Intimidation d8, Investigation d6, Knowledge (making explosives) d10, Lockpicking d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d8, Repair d8, Stealth d8, Streetwise d6, Taunt d10, Throwing d6
Charisma: 4; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7
Hindrances: He doesn’t have Dissociative identity disorder (he thinks himself as real), instead he is a Psychopath
Edges: Attractive, Command, McGyver, Charismatic
Equipment: An old house in an abandoned industrial district and the equipment to make explosives and soap

Marla Singer

« My God. I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school. »

Marla Singer

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strenght d4, Vigor d4
Skills: Athletics (Str, Climbing + Swimming) d6, Driving d4, Fighting d4, Knowledge (Illness) d10, Notice d6, Persuasion d8, Streetwise d6, Taunt d6
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 4
Hindrances: Borderline (but I agree she could have something else, or nothing, the movie doesn’t show her a lot)
Edges: Attractive (her dark behavior), Luck, Scavenger (because we truly don’t know how she is living)
Equipment: Her own flat

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Two main movies, the first one released in 1974 and the second in 2003.
Everybody knows even withtout having seen the movie, what is The Chainsaw Massacre, this movie made famous the chainsaw!

But I have to begin with the true story behind these movies, because there is one…

The life of Edward Gein

The movie is lightly based on the real life of this man who, as always for every murderers, had a tough childhood and a lot of problems with his mother.

His mother was deeply religious and his father was alcoolic. He also had a brother, Henry, who died in 1944 in a wildfire, maybe killed by Edward.

His mother was over-possessive and warned them about the dangers of loose women. Him and his brother grew up without meeting any woman except their mother, creepy…

Their father died of a heart failure in 1940, and their mother of a cancer in 1945. After her death, he stopped working at the farm and began to read books about human anatomy.

He began to dig up women bodies in the cemetery to take off their genital organ, their chest…
From 1954 he began to killed women in order to disembowel and dismember them, cut their skin up, and keep some body parts in his fridge: ears, genital organs…
He also made for himself fancy dress with their skin, to dress like a woman, with a real breast…

His last murder was in 1957 (Bernice Worden), and thanks to a mistake her son was able to lead the police to Edward’s house. It ended his psycho massacre.

He was sentenced to life but declared insane, so he was locked up in an asylum until 1984 when he died of an heart failure.

He never used a chainsaw, but we can easily understand how his story gave some ideas to the movies.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The movie of 1974 put the basics of the slasher horror style:

  • A killer more a beast than a human, killing coldly…
  • nice-looking and scantily dressed students…
  • with conventionnal and power tools…
  • in an inconceivable brutality and violence.

All this with in a documentary style to make you believe you are the next on the killer’s list.

The movie of 2003 followed the same rules but put aside the documentary angle to focus on the action.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the main horror movies, a cornerstone for the slasher style.

So, take care in the woods, because who knows, maybe the lumberjack you will bump into is a psycho killer 😉

Savage Worlds

If you want to play a game where you will try to survive leatherface, you have everything you need here 🙂

The tough guy

Attributes: Agility d6 , Smarts d4, Spirit d4, Strenght d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Climbing d8, Driving d4, Fighting d8, Intimidation d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Shooting d6, Throwing d6
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Loyal, Stubborn
Edges: Attractive, 1 combat edge
Equipment: None, you are a victim

The nice-looking girl

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strenght d4, Vigor d4
Skills: Cimbing d4, Driving d4, Fighting d6, Healing d4, Lockpicking d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d8, Shooting d4, Throwing d6
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 4
Hindrances: Loyal, Cautious (to play the girl who survives) or Clueless (to play the dumb one)
Edges: Attractive, 1 combat edge (to play the girl who survives) or Very attractive (to play the dumb one)
Equipment: None, you are a victim

The nerd

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strenght d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d4, Driving d4, Fighting d4,  Investigation d6, Knowledge d8 (Urban legends), Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Shooting d4, Taunt d8, Throwing d4
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Small, (Obese or Ugly or Anemic), (Big Mouth or Quirk)
Edges: Danger Sense, Alertness, Luck
Equipment: None, you are a victim

The fake cop

This is a Wild Card NPC.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strenght d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Climbing d8, Driving d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d10, Notice d8, Shooting d10, Stealth d6, Taunt d8, Throwing d8, Tracking d8
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Mean
Edges: Quick, Combat Reflexes, First Strike, Hard to Kill, Marskman, No Mercy, Strong Willed
Equipment: Billy club, S&W (.357), an old police car

Leatherface

This is a Wild Card NPC.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d10, Strenght d12+2, Vigor d12+2
Skills: Fighting d12, Intimidation d12, Notice d12, Tracking d12
Charisma: -6; Pace: 8; Parry: 8; Toughness: 10
Hindrances: Very Ugly, Bloodthirsty, Mean
Edges: Berserk, Brawny, Counterattack, First Strike, Frenzy, Hard to Kill, Level headed, Improved Nerves of Steel, No Mercy, Sweep, Improved Trademark Weapon, Mighty Blow
Equipment: Chainsaw, a human leather mask

This is not a setting where your players can hope to survive like in other games. You can play with a maximum of 5 players, and you can add some lesser NPCs.
Try to split the PC’s group, their only hope is either to betray amongst themselves or really play like a team, but who will survive?

Some thoughts about RPG 3

What means RPG

What is a roleplaying game ?

First, let define what is a game!

A game is an activity where you seek entertainment, but you can also seek competition, like in e-sport.
You can play Starcraft for fun or to win, even to live if you earn enough money.
So, you always learn something in a game because you try to achieve something.
But, a game can be more or less competitive depending on what is at stake.

For a roleplaying game, the pen-and-paper version makes you sit at a table with your friends or strangers, one of you being the game master.
The game master will tell the story, arbitrate the rules and try to satisfy everyone.
The players will play their character, follow the rules, and try to take up the challenges that happen.

You will learn a lot about yourself (depending on the character you play, and if you are the game master, on the kind of story you imagine) and about others for the same reasons. However, it is not really a competitive game, no money or reward to win, only a good moment to share and a character to upgrade.

But even if a game is competitive and is your every day job, I think we can easily distinguish it from a job by the enjoyment you feel doing it, you have chosen it. Some moments may be boring or annoying, but most of time you are happy. We can compare play with art about this point, it is passion, not a day job.

Roleplaying game

So, a roleplaying game is not a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) like this one 😉

Rocket Propelled Grenade

A roleplaying game is a game where you are all involved in a story created by the game master.
A player not only plays his character like in a video game, he will also contributes to the story. The actions of his character will influence the next part of the game.
A good game master is able to modify his story, or make believe it is different, so the players stay involved. But at the same time he knows where he leads them, it is sometimes quite hard to keep all this balanced.

The players have playable characters who will evolve during the game. They quite always become more and more powerful/skilled, but they also change or deepen their personalities.

A roleplaying game is fun, offers a giant playground to your imagination (far more than the video games), allows you to share a good moment with your friends (or to make new friends), and is also quite good for your relationship skills and your smartness.

In our society where everyone is in a hurry, it is also the opportunity to take a moment, 4, 6 or even 8 hours, and go in another world. It helps to put things into perspective.

I will now explain four different types of roleplaying games so you can understand all its aspects.

Adventure game

An adventure game is close to a roleplaying game but at the same time very different because you can’t modify your environment.

In a adventure game like Zelda, which is a video game on the Nintendo consoles, you are free of your action but limited by a framework.
Roleplaying games with a lot of rules like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder can easily become adventure games.
You play your character and try to take up the challenges given by the game master. Your aim is to succeed, get experience and gold pieces…
You will modify the world but only at the margins.

In a roleplaying game, you can modify everything. You don’t want to explore this dungeon but instead want to spy the local lord, it’s ok.
Maybe you want to meet the Gods and create a new world, why not, as long as your game master is ok with it.

Often, the more detailed is the rule system of your game, the more you can tend to an adventure game, which is not an inconvenient but only something to keep in mind.
In a game where you have 250 pages of rules and play with miniatures, it is quite hard for the game master to allow you everything you want, he has not a quad-core I7 processor in his brain 😉

About Savage Worlds, I would say it allows both way of playing, more adventure or more roleplay. You can play with miniatures and with all the rules, or you can play without miniatures and only use the essential rules, as you want.

Therapeutic RPG

Therapeutic roleplaying games aim to improve you in relational situations.
For example, you don’t know how to speak to your boss and it hinders you to get a promotion, a psychologist can help you with a therapeutic rolepaying game.

After having understood the problem, the psychologist creates a simulation where himself or another person will play your boss, and you will try to overcome your fear or mental block.
The simulation aims to be the closer possible to your real life, so you can use this training when confronted with your problem.

What is the link between hobby roleplaying games and therapeutic ones, you play a role and learn about yourself.
In a hobby RPG, you play a fictional character in a fictional world, and will learn a little bit about yourself.
Maybe you always play someone quite violent, no matter whether it be an elve archer or a nordic barbarian…
Maybe you always play a cunning character because you may be cunning yourself and don’t really know it.

In a therapeutic RPG, you play a role to learn, other persons play a role to help you, all this to modify your life in the real world, so you learn a lot about yourself. The objective is not to entertain yourself, so apart from the name, the link is quite tenuous between the two roleplaying games.

Serious games

A rolepaying game for the professional world is also not about entertainment even if it is a good moment.
The objective can be closer to the therapeutic game, for example to help a boss, by playing the role of an employee, to better know how to manage his team, or closer to a hobby game, for example to strengthen a team with a collective game.

In both cases, we are anyway quite far from the hobby game because you have the constraints of time and usefulness. It needs to be quite short and productive for the company.

Erotic roleplaying game

I couldn’t write this article without bringing up the erotic RPG, you know, when you wear a plumber suit and your partner a nurse one… Yes, be a plumber is really dangerous 🙂

The erotic roleplaying games were surely the first ones in the history, even though they don’t have any link with the previous games I have written about.

An advice, if you write on your CV that your hobby is the roleplaying game, put a picture of a dice or precise that it is the hobby one, because the employer could think that you like to… ahem… 🙂


The world of the roleplaying games is a one of vast landscapes with an infinite horizon.
The hobby one is the most known and can be more or less an adventure one. It is split between video and tabletop games (real or virtual). The video games tend to be more adventure ones, but some tried to give you the feeling of a real roleplaying game like Baldur’s Gate.

The professional ones (therapeutic and for office) are not really known as roleplaying games. Few will link the both to the hobby roleplaying game, and as a consequence the hobby is seen as a useless activity, maybe below the video game which brings a lot of money, while he has several positive consequences for the people who do it. You can read my article « Why I play tabletop role-playing games? » about it.

So, I encourage you to play because we don’t stop playing when growing older, we become old when we stop playing 😉


Savage Worlds

I will not give you rules, but some ideas to make deeper characters for your game, and also think a little bit about yourself as a player.

If you want to add personality traits for your character, you can read these two articles: (Link1) (Link2).

You can also use the alignments of Dungeons & Dragons, which are useful to give a line to your character.

The edges and hindrances of Savage Worlds are good, and I believe you can think about it when you have already created several characters, and try to analyze your way of playing.
What kind of character do you like to play? And Why? In what kind of world?
How do play apart from your character abilities?

As for me, I prefer science-fiction worlds, I love technology, space exploration, aliens, post-apo…
No matter whether I play a smart, a strong or a dextrous character, I will alway tend to be quite direct, even hard, and will try to be important in the world where the story takes place.
In the real life, I am also quite direct and hard, so, behind a different character’s background, abilities and personality, there is my own mind which influences my way of playing.

Think about it the next time you create and play a character 😉

The Ninth Gate

The Ninth Gate

I don’t know if I should write an article about the Ninth Gate, what deep secret or black magic can I summon by such a thing? 😉

Don’t worry, this is only a movie, but a very good one indeed!

First, you have a Johnny Depp during his golden age, not the pirate-clown thing he became 10 years ago.
Second, this movie is realistic, if of course you are a little bit interested by theology and Christianism.
Thirdly, it is so dark, not gore or violent, but really dark, amoral, an inquiry like in a Cthulhu game and an ending truly satanist.

This movie, directed by Roman Polanski and released in 2000, is based upon the novel « The Club Dumas » writtten by Arturo Pérez-Reverte published in 1993.
As often happens, when a movie is based upon a novel, you are quite sure to have a deep scenario.

I like the performance of Johnny Depp (Dean Corso), a rare book dealer with no scruples, single, in the gloomy, urban, and deeply materialistic atmosphere of the 90′.
The scenario is well written, you never know what will happen next, and you discover the meaning of the engravings at the same time of Dean Corso.

This is also a movie about satanism, but not like the crazy child type who wants to kill his parents by hurling fire though his red eyes full of blood. I hate these movies about the new Antichrist.
The Ninth Gate is like an initiation, you live the initiation ritual (which is the inquiry about the engravings to understand their real message) with Dean Corso. This is a dark National Treasure, Benjamin Franklin Gates is the tails side of the coin while Dean Corso is the heads side.

But don’t worry, this movie will not summon a devil behind you, or make you kill your neighbors. This is only a movie, with a research about a fictional book « The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows », with an amazing plot but no truth.
If you are looking for some analysis about the movie, read this article.

This is another fascinating part of this masterpiece, you can understand it differently.
Read reviews and think about the engravings is as interesting as watching the movie.

For me, I think Lucifer is playing with Dean Corso and Boris Balkan, with everyone who is looking for him or for its power. But most of his worshippers are just perverts and people with a little merit. Boris Balkan is smart and really interested, but is looking only for power, to be on par with Lucifer, and the end is its punishment for his arrogance.
So, only Dean Corso, greedy at the beginning, becomes passionate by his quest and only wants to understand, not to be rich, powerful or famous. As a consequence, he is the one who is chosen by Lucifer to enter his kingdom.

So, for me, the real message of the movie is that no matter what you seek, do it sincerely. The liars and false-believers never end well, except in politics 😉


Savage Worlds

I will present you the Codex Infernus, an amazing setting to add devils and demons to your Savage Worlds game.

Then I will propose you the stat-blocks for Boris Balkan, who could be an interesting NPC to send your PCs on a dangerous quest, and for Dean Corso who could be a good PC.

Codex Infernus: The Savage Guide to Hell

This book is what you need if you want to put devils and demons in your game.

You have a presentation of Hell in different cultures, guidelines to create angelic or demonic weapons and items, new demons with their stats, and it is usable in a fantazy, a contemporary or a futuristic scenario.

I bought it and don’t regret it. Among the settings for Savage Worlds, it is one of the best. Some real new rules, not like the fantazy one which looks a lot like the core rules book.
You really have a lot of stuff to include in your game, or to modify if you want to, and the illustrations are also good.

If you want to buy it, only 8$ in PDF, go to DrivethruRPG.
Of course, you will need the Savage Worlds core rules.

Boris Balkan

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strenght d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge d10 (Christianism, Satanism, Legends), Persuasion d8, Streetwise d6.
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Overconfident (Major), Vengeful (Minor)
Edges: Rich, Filthy Rich, Scholar (Christianism, Satanism)
Equipment: A lot of money and a large apartment with a huge bookcase.

Dean Corso

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strenght d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d8, Knowledge d8 (Christianism, Satanism), Knowledge d6 (Old books), Notice d4, Streetwise d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Curious (Major), Greedy (Minor)
Edges: Investigator, Scholar (Christianism, Satanism)
Equipment: A leather briefcase, a notebook, a cigarette pack and a matchbox.