Fellow Philippine Blogger Nosfecatu has been working on putting together D&D 5e compatible write ups for Philippine Myth Inspired monsters on his blog! His first entry is a strong start, talking about Magwayen, the Ferrywoman of the Dead.

Aubrey Miles as Magwayen, from GMA TV Network’s “Amaya”

I feel that it’s a great addition to any Fantasy RPG to throw your players off from the usual fantasy tropes and into something different for a change. After all, in twisting things you get to revive the sense of wonder of your setting.

Head on over to Nosfecatu and check it out! http://nosfecatu.blogspot.kr/2015/03/monster-monday-magwayen.html


Let me start off by saying that I really appreciate the fact that Mutant: Year Zero classifies both combat and social engagements as conflict. It’s a good way of thinking that unifies both under the thinking that conflict happens whenever two opposed parties are looking to force one another to give in.

Initiative

Conflict starts with Initiative, which is determined by rolling a d6 and adding current Agility scores. There’s no skill involved in this, and this roll can’t be pushed.

Actions & Maneuvers

During a character’s turn, they are allowed to take one action and one maneuver, or two maneuvers. For clarity Actions are used for skill rolls and activating mutations. Maneuvers on the other hand involve other actions such as movement or general motions such as drawing, or reloading a weapon.

Social Conflict

Social Conflict pays attention to a character’s Bargaining Position which can be positive or negative based on multiple factors such as their disposition towards you and the number of people on your side.

Success in Manipulation-based social conflict means that you arrive at a deal. The target will do something if you likewise will do something for them. Intimidate-based social conflict, on the other hand is less about getting a deal and more about forcing them to do something for you… or start a fight.

I find it rather interesting that intimidate doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re cowed as much as they’re threatened and may react with force.

Close and Ranged Combat

Physical combat isn’t too different from those from other systems, but there’s certainly a more brutal spin to it. a successful attack roll not only deals damage, but for every nuclear radiation symbol in the roll, you get to choose from a list of stunts that bring in further pain and suffering to the ones who got hit.

These stunts inflict anything from fatigue, disarming them, dealing further damage or forcing them to lose footing.

It’s an interesting system, and one that elegantly folds things that are usually found in a combat maneuvers section into a single roll.

Weapons

As with any post-apocalyptic game, the weapons list is a fascinating read with lovely entries such as “Bat with Spikes.” There’s definitely a lot going on here, and I’m more than happy to see that the list has a lot of jury-rigged items that many imaginative players will probably put together as soon as they get the chance to.

Critical Injuries

Given the state of the world and the tone of the game, it’s no surprise that there’s a section devoted to the world of pain that you can get yourself into. Characters take Critical Injuries when their Strength falls to zero.

The accompanying Critical Injury table reads like something from old-school RPGS, but it definitely seems to work given the setting. There’s a lot of cringe-worthy entries, from Crushed Knee to Damaged Spine, but I can’t fault the game for doing that.

Conditions

In addition to just injuries, several conditions are given attention to as well. These include starvation, dehydration, hypothermic shock, lack of sleep, getting drunk and getting around in the darkness. Each one makes sense in the context of the game, and with every rule I read, I’m getting a much deeper appreciation for the desperation in this game.

Explosions

As a small addition, rules for explosions are also looked into, though such events won’t be too easy to make given limited resources. Still, having them here is very important as well as players always do have a means to try and jury rig anything into an explosive.

Vehicles

Vehicles are given some treatment as well, but doesn’t go so far as to stat out tanks. I’m glad that Mutant: Year Zero was pretty pragmatic about this, and while Vehicles can be used to attack, they’re of the most use as a means of conveyance.

—-

If ever there was any need to actually stress how bleak and desperate the setting for Mutant: Year Zero is, then this chapter should be the sum of it. Not to say that it can’t be fun, but there’s plenty of reason to find ways to stay away from direct conflict in the rules, and that’s probably why I find myself loving it.

In some ways the rules themselves enforce the fact that violence, while occasionaly inevitable, should never be the first resort. When violence actually does happen, it should be unpredictable, dangerous and both sides should be looking to take advantage of any possible edge to make sure they walk (or crawl) out of it alive.

In our next article, we’ll look at The Ark, the home of your mutants and the very center of civilization that you have to evolve if there is to be any chance of saving mankind at all.

Mutant: Year Zero is available from DriveThruRPG for $24.99 or roughly Php 1,100.00


Hi there, today we’re taking a look at the mechanics of Mutant Year Zero.

Types of Dice

Mutant Year Zero is different in the sense that it has 3 different types of dice. These are color coded six-sided dice with special symbols in place of the ones (a biohazard symbol) and the six (a nuclear radiation symbol.)

Skill dice are color green
Base dice are color yellow
Gear dice are color black

Dice Substitution

For those without the Mutant Year Zero dice, it’s possible to play using regular D6’s, as long as you have them in different colors to differentiate the types.

The book has a small sidebar on how to do the substitutions. It’s a obviously easier to use the Mutant Year Zero dice, of course.

For those who are okay with using tech, a Fan-Made dice roller was recently made available on Android!

Rolling Dice

Whenever a character attempts to exercise one of their skills, they’ll need to make a roll.

The roll is done by getting a number of Skill Dice equal to the skill level, a number of Base Dice equal to the current value of the attribute connected to the skill, and a number of Gear Dice if your character is using the correct tool for the job.

For an action to succeed, you must roll at least one 6 (or nuclear radiation symbol.) If you roll more than one of these, you can perform stunts.

Rolling a 1 does not have an effect on the first roll, but they do kick in when you push the roll, which we’ll get to later.

Failing

If you roll no “6”‘s then you something goes wrong. The interesting thing in the game is how it explicitly states that the one thing that the GM cannot say is that “nothing happens.” Failure should have consequences, such as the loss of resources or a new threat.

Pushing Your Roll

Failure can be mitigated by Pushing Your Roll, this allows you to reroll all dice that didn’t come up with a symbol and roll them again. This can only be done once, after which you have to live with the consequences.

When pushing, rolling a “1” or biohazard symbol inflicts trauma to the attribute used. On the upside, you also get a mutation point for each point of trauma you suffer.

Gear Bonus

Gear is extremely useful in Mutant Year Zero as it gives you more dice and therefore more chances to roll a 6. HOwever, gear dice also have a special symbol. the “1” shows an explosion of some sort, and is used to track Gear degradation when used in a pushed roll. Every “1” that shows after you have pushed decreases the Gear bonus by 1.

Overall the basic mechanics are easy to use, and have a nice tie-in with the nature of the world. The idea of Pushing Your Roll sits well with me, and every roll has a potential for drama.

I do like the Gear Break rules, as again it pushes the feeling of scarcity in a post-apocalyptic world. I can imagine that a Mutant Year Zero game involves a lot of resource control, which can only enhance the mood of the game.

Next up, we’ll take a look at the Combat rules for Mutant Year Zero.

Mutant: Year Zero is available from DriveThruRPG for $24.99 or roughly Php 1,100.00


I am as giddy as a schoolgirl right now. Let me get the announcement out of the way first before I share my thoughts:

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KNOW, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of….

Modiphius is proud to announce a licensing deal with Conan Properties to publish Robert E. Howard’s CONAN Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of. This is CONAN roleplaying as Robert E. Howard wrote it – savage pulp adventure battling ancient horrors in the Hyborian Age! We plan to bring the game right back to its roots, focusing on the original stories by Robert E. Howard.

Modiphius has scored a leading team of Hyborian Age scribes to chronicle these adventures including Timothy Brown (designer of the Dark Sun setting for Dungeons & Dragons), award-winning Robert E. Howard scholar and essayist Jeffrey Shanks (Conan Meets the Academy, REH: Two-Gun Raconteur, Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction, The Dark Man: The Journal of REH Studies, Zombies from the Pulps!), Jason Durall (Basic Roleplaying, Serenity, The Laundry), Mark Finn (Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, The Barbaric Triumph, The Dark Man: The Journal of REH Studies), Chris Lites (Paizo, Savage Worlds, Omni, Slate), and many more to be announced.

Players and GM’s alike will feel the might of the 2d20 game system, the cinematic roleplaying rules devised by Jay Little (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire) for Mutant Chronicles, and sharpened up for intense sword and sorcery action. The 2d20 system lets players experience the true pulp adventure of the CONAN stories.

Howard expert Jeffrey Shanks will approve all content, ensuring it remains true to the spirit of the source material and brings the Hyborian Age to life. World-famous CONAN artist Sanjulian (Conan Ace Paperbacks, Vampirella, Eerie, Creepy) has been commissioned, as well as Carl Critchlow (Batman/Judge Dredd, Anderson: Psi Division). Joining them are other CONAN greats such as Mark Schultz (The Coming of Conan, Xenozoic Tales, Prince Valiant), Tim Truman (Dark Horse Conan, Grimjack, Jonah Hex), Phroilan Gardner (Age of Conan, World of Warcraft), Alex Horley (Blizzard, Heavy Metal, Magic: The Gathering) and many more.

Modiphius is working with other Conan Properties licensing partners including Monolith Board Games, creator of the hit CONAN boardgame which has surpassed $2 million on Kickstarter, and Funcom, creator of the long-running, free-to-play, MMO Age of Conan. Modiphius plans some select supplements including missions designed for the Monolith boardgame, as well as floorplan tile sets allowing you to use Conan miniatures in your roleplaying adventures!

Modiphius is already working on the roleplaying corebook for Robert E. Howard’s CONAN Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of to be released this Fall. A Kickstarter is planned for the summer to fund a larger range of roleplaying supplements, campaigns, and accessories to follow the core book.

Ho, Dog Brothers and Sword Sisters! Don your mail, hone your blade, and pray to whatever fickle gods might listen. Harken to the sound of clanging steel, cries of battle, and death curses spat from bloody, frothing lips! Tread the jeweled thrones of the earth or die in towers of spider-haunted mystery. Crom cares not!

I’m a huge fan of the original R.E.H. short stories of Conan and it’s been a huge influence in the way I see and think about the Swords and Sorcery genre, so this is huge news for me.

The fact that the license is in the hands of Modiphius makes it even better as after my look at their spectacular Mindjammer and Achtung! Cthulhu lines and my currently ongoing Let’s Study series on Mutant Year Zero, I have nothing but absolute confidence that they’ll be able to come up with a game that presents Conan as he was meant to be.

I’m definitely going to be on board on the Kickstarter for this, and will have Conan as part of my queue for a Let’s Study series as soon as I can get my hands on it.

For more info head on over to: http://www.modiphius.com/conan.html


Thanks to a proper alignment of stars, I finally got my chance to run something new. In this case, it was Monte Cook’s Numenera. It was a one-shot, and the venue was a nearby Friendly Local Gaming Store called Makati B&B. The players were all new to me, so it was going to be one of those experiences where we all try to get along and finish the job.

Dramatis Personae

I had the players make characters beforehand to save time, and this is what I got:

Whyttman (Played by Raymz) is a Swift Jack who Rides the Lightning. She is a grizzled veteran, having spent her youth fighting in the crusades. Eventually becoming disillusioned with the Aeon religion, she ended up a mercenary, hiring out her services to the highest bidder. The caustic, ruthlessly pragmatic merc is known for her unerring aim and her lightning-infused arrows.

Mikael Mendoza (Played by Jak) is a Stealthy Glaive Who Works The Back Alleys. Abandoned as a child, he grew up with a street gang learning the ways of the thief. A gang war resulted in the deaths of his gang members, with Mikael barely able to escape with his life. This led to using his natural stealth skills towards more martial pursuits, killing off the rival gang one by one. Eventually caught and imprisoned for the murders, Malachore influenced Mikael’s decision to leave the criminal world and pursue mercenary work.

Zurt Namir (Played by DJ) is a Hardy Glaive who Rages. He’s ex-military who finished his tour of service and opted out of the service. Plying his skills for money to gather enough to retire comfortably. Currently looking for interesting adventures and experiences while he’s young.

Malachore (Played by Jose) is a Mechanical Nano who Fuses Flesh and Steel. He lost his arms from an accident thanks to Jack D Delver. Now he is in search for not only his missing mother but the source of numenera that took everything away from him.

Jack D Delver (Played by Gino) is an “expert” explorer who travels the world in search of adventure with his trusty friends gathering numenera along the way; by any means necessary, total bros with the Aeon priests and the Order of Truth with the unreasonable hate for cultists and abhumans.

It’s a pretty good spread of characters, honestly, with each one being unique enough to stand out among the rest. Players noted that character creation was incredibly easy, with some using an online tool to help come up with their characters.

Story begins after the jump!

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