So, yeah. I’ve been absent for the last week or so. I blame the official release of the Pathfinder: Kingmaker video game. I’ve been playing it almost nonstop. Admittedly, it’s still a bit buggy – Owlcat Games is a pretty small studio and, as someone who also works in a small software development company as the QA guy, I know all about how easily it is to break the software without realizing it. As a result of that, I’ve been pretty lenient on these guys, especially with how responsive they’ve been. The game dropped on Tuesday and they’ve released 5 hotfixes as of yesterday to resolve major issues. Sure, that’s indicative of a lot of issues, but it’s software.
Anyway, my current character is a Magus with the archetype Sword Saint and it amuses me to no end that his AC is, during a fight, higher than the tank’s even though he’s only wearing a chain shirt and she’s got full plate and a tower shield. Admittedly, he can’t hit the broad side of a barn unless he’s either lucky (really high d20 roll) or I cast True Strike (which gives me a +20 to hit), but that’s not the point. I’m currently into chapter 2 of that adventure path which is fighting the trolls. I’ve got another character – an aasimar paladin – who is into chapter 3 (which we just finished in our face-to-face group) but that game hit an irritating recursive loop bug in my capital so it’s pretty much dead.
Overall, I am enjoying the game though I did have to dial down the difficulty because man, they seriously ramped that up! I suppose it goes to the whole “you can reload” mindset which isn’t available in a F2F game, but honestly, if my 1st and 2nd level characters were running into random bandits with AC 22 or 23 like in this game with “default” difficulty level, I’d be wigging at at my GM. Case in point: my 3rd level PCs had a random encounter yesterday with an Elder Fire Elemental. That’s a CR11 creature! Before I’d really realized how insane this was, two of the six characters in my group were dead. Naturally, I reloaded and, from what I’ve gleaned on the Owlcat forums, that was fixed in the latest hotfix so random encounters are more level appropriate.
I’ll try to remember to post an image of the “character sheet” for my current PC…
In our Saturday group, one of the players ran an Action game that he entitled “Consular Operations” … which he stole from me as I ran a GURPS 3E game titled that … although to be fair, I originally stole it from a Robert Ludlum book (the name of which I can’t quite recall.) Anyway, the GM has basically put that game on hold – he’s running the Banestorm game at the moment – and a couple of recent events – first playthrough of the “Phantom Doctrine” video game, my viewing of “Mission Impossible: Fallout” and my binge-watch of Amazon’s “Jack Ryan” – have caused me to really start wanting to run some modern day Action.
So with the originating GM’s permission, I’ve started brainstorming how to basically rip-off the “Phantom Doctrine” storyline in the Action game. I’m debating whether to start my run with my Siege adventure, then flow into the mini-campaign that I have in mind. My character in the game – a blatant ripoff of Coulson from MCU & Agents of SHIELD using the Investigator template from Action 1) – will be kicked upstairs so he’s the nominal handler of the Team.
Right now, the characters we have in play are:
Adam Vega – Australian Wheelman
Ilan Baum – Israeli Assassin
Stephen McKay – American Hacker
Raymond Hurt – American Shooter (Delta Forces – he didn’t use the Shooter template, though)
We had another Shooter whose player is no longer with the group, so I’m just going to write him out. As it stands, that PC had Bad Temper and Impulsive, so it’s easy enough to believe that he was determined to be not a good fit with the Team. There are two other players potentially joining that I know of: the former GM is likely planning on doing a Faceman (which is good because the Team doesn’t have one) and his daughter-in-law (the wife of McKay’s player) will play … I dunno, yet. I’m likely going to suggest an Infiltrator or maybe even a straight-up Medic? Not quite sure just yet. I do kind of like the idea of her being my Coulson ripoff’s daughter – played by Chloe Bennet, of course – who joined against his wishes…
So, as stated, I’ve thought about starting with the Siege adventure – which is three sessions at the very least, before flowing into the campaign proper which plays out roughly like this:
PCs go to Iran (or Syria, not sure which) to infiltrate alleged nuclear program to status it. Things go south & they must exfiltrate, then learn that Quinn (my Coulson’s ripoff) didn’t bother clearing this with his bosses who are upset at this.
Quinn then sends them on another info-gathering mission that takes them around the world, then arranges to meet them back at headquarters (New York?) … but the location is bombed with Quinn likely KIA.
And the PCs are framed for the bombing. Now they have to go rogue.
Then the PCs have to figure out who is actually behind this while their organization is crippled by various other alphabet agencies.
And the ultimate bad guy? Heh. It’s the United Nations. Or rather, certain members within it who are behind a grand conspiracy intended on toppling various governments so the UN can move in to establish a one-world system.
While I’m still kind of looking forward to this, I must admit that the character models aren’t very appealing right now. It’s like they intentionally uglied up all of the characters – this “Cora Harper” is ostensibly a love interest but man, she’s kind of bugly…
Steam sale had these for cheap and while I’m kind of tired of Bats, I will acknowledge that the Arkham games have been great … until Knight. I’d read how people disliked the Batmobile crap but dear God, until I’d experienced it myself, I had not realized just how crap it is.
Meanwhile, the Telltale game is excellent. Am through the 2nd ep and I love the re-imagining here, what with Thomas Wayne not being the paragon he’s usually written as. And thus far, I absolutely love the Bat-Cat dynamic. The bar fight in ep 2 where Bruce and Selina (in civvie garb) kick ass? I would kill to see that in a movie.
Something occurred to me yesterday while goofing off with ME3. I’ve been struggling with the timeline – specifically, when to set this theoretical game – and was fluctuating between “during ME1″ and “prior to ME1″ which ultimately limits the amount of time available since ME1 begins in 2183 and ME3 ends in 2186. While reviewing the official timeline, I realized that I missed a perfect time period: 2176 – 2178, 6 to 8 years earlier. Why? The Skyllian Blitz and the attack on Torfan.
Specifically, in 2176, the “Skyllian Blitz” transpires. It is defined as “Batarian-funded pirates and criminals launch a surprise attack, later known as the Skyllian Blitz, on the human colony of Elysium. The assault is repulsed by the Alliance Navy and ground teams.” This is where the “War Hero” background for Shepard occurs.
This provides a golden opportunity as, logically, the PCs can be at Elysium in the opening chapters, then segue into hunting down the originator behind this attack (see the rogue, believed dead Spectre idea I had before) that culminates in the battle of Torfan in 2178, which is defined as “In retaliation for the Skyllian Blitz, the Alliance launches a major offensive against the moon of Torfan and destroys the criminal bases there, mostly populated by batarians. The threat against human colonies from batarian extremists is curtailed.” Ruthless Shepard background occurs here and he gains the reputation as the “Butcher of Torfan.”
Therefore, I first have to figure out this version of Shepard. I’m leaning toward Colonist Sole Survivor, which means he was on Akuz in 2177 and attacked by a thresher maw, which leaves open the reputation of “Butcher of Torfan” for a PC.