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 😉

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?

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.

The Mist (En)

The Mist

The Mist was first a novella written by Stephen King and published in 1980, then a movie released in 2007.

For a few of you who lived in a nuclear bunker for the past decades, Stephen King is the master of horror and dread.

The plot is simple and effective, what happen if some tens people are trapped in a supermarket, wrapped in a thick mist from which no one came back alive.
With talent, as he always do, Stephen King let slowly the characters become crazy, take fright, blame each other, until they are forced to go outside, to enter the mist.

The movie is really close to the book except for the ending. and I must admit I preferred the movie ending, really darker.
But I will reveal none of both because I don’t want to be hunged by the neck until death, like have threatened Stephen King 😉

If you like drama, horror and intense psychological movies or books, you can’t miss the Mist.
You have monsters lurking in the mist, waiting for a brave human to hunt.
You have deep characters, all trapped, with the traditionnal ones for a good story: the father (an artist) and his son, the locals, the zealot who wants to do human sacrifices…

If you know the video game Half-Life, you will also love this movie. The scientists from the military base have surely done something, but what ?
It is the common point with Stranger Things, a failed experiment and a lot of innocent who die because of it.

I think it is also a masterpiece, above all because it is a crossover of horror, drama and thriller, and it works very well. I love how the situation degenerates between all the characters, abandonned in this supermarket surrounded by the mist and monstrous creatures.

Enjoy your book and/or movie, and leave me a reply about Mrs. Carmody 😉


Savage Worlds

I thought of a rule to use the Mist in your own game, watch your players struggle with this thing beyond belief.
I also suggest you to use grittier rules for a setting like The Mist, have a look at my article about dices 😉

The Mist

This mist is not a common one, it doesn’t only limit your sight, it also affects your spirit.

In the Mist, you have a penalty of -4 to your Perception, Shooting, Throwing and Driving rolls.

On top of that, each day that passes is a threat for your psychological balance.
The first day, you make a Spirit roll against a difficulty of 2. Then you add +2 for each new day.

When the roll is failed, you roll 1d10 to know the consequences:

1: You lose control and run into the Mist in the hope of leaving this nightmare!
2-3: You are frightened and can’t move for the day, huddled up on yourself.
4-5: You become nervous, quite violent, lose 2 points of Charisma, and use only Intimidation or Combat in your relations with the other people.
6-7-8: You are stressed and suffer a penalty of -1 for all your attributes and skills rolls.
9-10: Nothing, you are a little bit anxious but keep your self-control.

Of course, these effects are added to each other. If you have failed your roll on Day 2, got a 5, then failed again on Day 3, you roll again the d10 until you get another score than 4-5.
If you get 1, of course, your character is no longer playable.
So, the longer you stay in the Mist, the worst it will be.

Creatures

They are the inhabitants of this parallel universe and will frighten the PC!

The Scorpion-Fly
The Mist - Scorpion-Fly

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d8, Strenght d4, Vigor d4
Skill: Fighting d4
Pace: 8; Parry: 4; Toughness: 3(1)
Special abilities: Size -2; Small; Armor 1; Fear; Flight; not affected by the Mist penalty for Perception
Sting: Str+d6

The Gray-Widower
The Mist - Gray Widowers

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d8, Strenght d6, Vigor d4
Skill: Fighting d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 5; Toughness: 3
Special abilities: Size -1; Fear -2; Wall walker;  not affected by the Mist penalty for Perception
Bite: Str / Sting: Str+d6 (Paralysis)

The Ptero-Buzzard
The Mist - Ptero-buzzard

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d8, Strenght d6, Vigor d6
Skill: Fighting d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6(1)
Special abilities: Armor 1; Fear; Flight; not affected by the Mist penalty for Perception
Bite: Str+d6

The Tentacle
The Mist - Tentacle

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d8, Strenght d10, Vigor d8
Skill: Fighting d8
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 7
Special abilities: Size +1; Fear +2; not affected by the Mist penalty for Perception
Grapple: When grappled, the victim suffers Strenght damage the next round (the tentacle sticks its claws), then is brought back by the creature at a pace of 6.

The Arachni-Lobster
The Mist - Arachni-Lobster

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d10, Strenght d10, Vigor d8
Skill: Fighting d8
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 12(2)
Special abilities: Size +4; Large; Fear -2; Armor 2; Hardy; not affected by the Mist penalty for Perception
Claws: Str+d8, ambidextrous

The Behemoth
The Mist - Behemoth

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d8(A), Spirit d12, Strenght d12, Vigor d10
Skill: Fighting d4
Pace: 4; Parry: 2; Toughness: 17(2)
Special abilities: Size +8; Huge; Fear -2; Armor 2; Hardy; not affected by the Mist penalty for Perception
Foot: Str+d10, only defends if attacked.
If you are near a Behemoth, each turn you make an Agility roll (4), on a fail, one of its foot crushes you.

I hope you will enjoy this short setting for The Mist, leave me a reply about your game 😉

Pusher I/II/III (En)

Pusher

I watched Pusher I, II and III in the same week, fascinated by the realism. All these criminals are not Al Capone or God Father like, they are common gangsters in Copenhagen, also not the vice city you would think of.

I put the picture of the main character of the three movies. Even if you don’t see him a lot in the second movie, that the story is not built around him in the first, and that only the third movie has him as the main character, he is, along the trilogy, the only one you will see and see again.
So in a way, he is the core character of the trilogy, a lot of the plot depends upon him.

I forgot to say that this is again a Winding Refn movie, so be prepared to follow real characters at their own pace.

The first and second movies also show Mads Mikkelsen, you have surely saw him in Casino Royale (2006) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). But it is interesting to discover him before he became a major actor.

And this is another thing I love about these movies, you really focus on the characters because they are not played by famous actors, and they are anyway really, really good.


In Pusher I, you follow Frank, a local dealer which got in trouble after a failed deal. This is where Milo comes into play to get back his money, of course he doesn’t do it himself, he has Radovan to make sure the debts are paid.

Frank (Kim Bodnia) is pretty much a bad guy, not a cruel or a psychotic one, but quite cold-hearted and self-centred.
You understand this by how he behaves with his girlfriend, Vic, who is a call girl.

I felt like in the video game GTA (Grand Theft Auto) in the first movie. Frank is like your character at the beginning of a GTA game. Small deals, no a lot of weapons, working always in the same street. Quite funny.

Tonny (Mads Mikkelsen), is the dumb one. Immature, quite stupid, he is violently beaten up by Frank after the failed deal. I was sure he was dead, but he is the main character of the second movie where you understand why he has no self-confidence, and why as a consequence he became the moron everybody wanted him to became, and to stay.

Then Milo, played by Zlatko Buric, who by the way really took drugs during the shooting. You saw him in the two first movies as the local kingpin and main dealer of Copenhagen, but in the third movie you go deeper into the character, into the man.
He is trying to stop drugs and has a lot of problems with the Albanian, the new criminal faction in the city.
You see the evolution, in the first and second movie, this is a local criminal organization made of people who know well each other, while in the third movie this local criminal group has to compete with a world-wide mafia which intend to set its business in Copenhagen. Of course, the Albanian are far more violent and sneaky than Milo who is also a father, and who was not mixed up with young women trafic and synthetic drugs.

This trilogy is really a masterpiece. I didn’t watch the remake in English of 2012 because it seems bad. There is a logic, a unity behind these three movies. This is a common criminal story in an European style.

If you like gangsters/mafia movies, I really recommend you to watch Pusher 😉

Pusher 2


Savage Worlds

I will give you Milo and his henchman (Radovan) as NPC against your players.
Because a PC has to always pay his debts 😉

Milo

Attributes: Agility d4, Smart d10, Spirit d8, Strenght d6,Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Gambling d6, Intimidation d6, Knowledge (Criminality) d10, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Shooting d4, Streetwise d10, Taunt d4
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Major habit (cocaine)
Edges: Rich, Charismatic
Gear: A restaurant, a nice car, a big house, 5 henchmen (including Radovan) and a lot of cocaine.

To play Milo, keep in mind he seems like the friend guy but will not hesitate to ask Radovan to cut you into pieces.
You get him is money, you have the right to eat for free at this restaurant, you double-cross him and you end in the freezer.

Radovan

Radovan is unique, so for the other goons of Milo, make them a little bit weaker.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smart d4, Spirit d6, Strenght d10,Vigor d10
Skills: Driving d6, Fighting d10, Gambling d4, Intimidation d10, Knowledge (Criminality and above all bad payers) d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Shooting d6, Streetwise d6, Tracking d6.
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7
Hindrances: Loyal to Milo,
Edges: Brawny
Gear: A shotgun, a knife, a common car, and all the tools to make the bad payers pay and the traitors speak.

Radovan became the henchman of Milo because it didn’t have another choice. His dream is to leave this life and open a restaurant. So he is not the worst guy you can meet, unless you owe money to Milo.

Interstellar (En)

Interstellar

My first article with a new tool, a Savage Worlds rule or idea linked to the subject mentioned, have a look at the end of the article 😉

You think physics is boring, watch Interstellar and you will be passionate about black holes and wormholes.
What is the difference ? It seems that a black hole is only a giant Packman eating all its neighborhood, while a worm hole is more like « a worm » which sends you far away, really far away, in another place of our galaxy, universe, or even in a parallel universe!

More precisely, a wormhole is a black hole plus a white hole. Everything is absorbed in the black hole, move in a tunnel, the Einstein-Rosen bridge, and is ejected by the white hole.

But we have no proof, only hypothesis, so, get back to the movie.


In Interstellar, Earth is no longer really liveable for humankind, and as a consequence she is looking for another home. A wormhole appeared near Saturn, and NASA has secretly developed a spaceship to enter it and explore the galaxy on the other side, in order to find a new Earth.

What is amazing in this movie is the story of Cooper with his daughter, because he is the ghost of their house, so we are in a temporal paradox we only understand at the end of the movie.
The family story is touching: the sacrifice of the father, the hope and anger of the daughter. They are both caught up in a fate beyond their understanding, until the end, after so much pain.

What is also really interesting is that this story is possible, logical. With the work of Kip Thorne, everyone can see what is a realistic wormhole, named Gargantua in the movie.
And admit it, you prefer to see it on screen than in real, won’t you?

The planets are also realistic, as well as the temporal paradox on the one orbiting Gargantua. So it is really a science-fiction movie, not a fantazy one with high-tech gadgets.

The difference:
Science-fiction is about the consequences of science on humankind. Here, the consequences of a wormhole and time travel. Humankind has control over her destiny.
Fantazy is about superpowers, gods, eternal worlds. Humankind is not her own master.


As I said, Sunshine is about stars while Interstellar is about wormholes, quite the opposite but at the same time the two sides of the same coin. A lot of stars, the ones with a sufficient mass, will end becoming black or wormholes.

Do the wormholes are the end of something, or only a bridge to another state?
Do the wormholes send the matter they absorb to another galaxy or another universe?

Scientists also have to study the dark matter which could make a wormhole stable and usable , for example the one at the core of our galaxy, Sagittarius A. Where coult it lead us?

All these questions are fascinating and we should spend more money on it. Just think about all the money we waste in military expenditures, around 600 billion dollars only for the USA!
Of course there are threats all over the world, but does Humankind have not something else to do than war on its little planet lost in the universe? Explore our solar system and our galaxy is far more interesting and could bring hope and peace.
Why? Because we would have a common goal, a goal which needs a united Earth to be achieved.

As a comparison, the budget of the NASA is only 19.5 billion dollars. 600 against 19.5, and you wonder why we are not wet on Mars…

And we can also compare the European budgets:
5.75 billion euros for the ESA.
284 billions euros for all the armies of the EU countries.

So, there is money, a lot of money to explore and understand the universe.

Meanwhile, if you want to dream for a break, just listen to the main theme of this great movie 😉


Savage Worlds

I want to propose you, first, a rule to handle gravity, second, a rule to use Gargantua in your own setting.

Gravity

On a planet with a lower gravity than Earth:

Pace: +2″
Jump from a dead stop: +1″
Jump with a run and go: +2″
Weapons range, add the close range to each range, so if you have 5/10/20, it gives 10/15/25.

On a planet with a higher gravity than Earth:

Pace: -2″
Jump from a dead stop: Agility roll at 4 to succeed
Jump with a run and go: -1″
Weapons range, reduce the close range to each range with a minimum of 2, so 5/10/20 gives 2/5/15.

Gargantua

Gargantua is a giant vacuum, if your players don’t go voluntarily toward it, we can imagine they appeared by error, maybe their spaceship had a problem or they were intercepted.

So, a piloting roll is needed and the difficulty depends upon their distance to the black hole.
If they are far, that they don’t really see its disc, the difficulty is 6.
If they are quite close but still enough far to see the space around it, the difficulty is 8.
If they are so close that they only see the disc of the black hole, the difficulty is 10.

Of course, if the roll is succeeded at 10, the pilot must then succeed a roll at 8 and to finish at 6.

What happened if a roll is failed, it depends upon their position. At 6, the spaceship gets closer and the pilot has to succeed a roll at 8. You understand the logic, it is a ladder.

With a roll failed at 10, the spaceship is swallowed by the black hole.
Either it is destroyed or sent to a far away location, it is you choice.

The interest of this rule is to create a tense battle where your spaceship and your foes can finish right into the black hole.
Your pilot, struggling with the gravitational attraction, rely on his team to fight and avoid damage for the spaceship. You can say that each damage for the ship moves it a step closer to the wormhole.
Of course, it would be the same for the enemies, so it becomes a real strategy, for example get the more dangerous ship closer to the black hole to make it fail a piloting roll.

If the spaceship is sent to a distant location, the players have to succeed a Spirit roll at 8 roll to know if they get crazy or not. If crazy, their character is no longer playable, sorry but we are speaking of a wormhole 😉

I hope these light rules will be useful for your game, and when you have tried it, leave me a reply 😉