Sunday, January 12, 2014

Psi-punk Video Review at RPGGeek

An RPGGeek user, "Stone Dwarf," just posted a video review of Psi-punk. Overall, it sounds like he really enjoys the game.

Head on over to RPGGeek to check it out.

Even though it has been out for a while now, new reviews like this are still very helpful in spreading the word!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

World's Edge Arena Preview

I'm in the process of moving and my primary desktop PC is currently about 60 miles away in another city. Since I'm using my wife's laptop at the moment, I'm not working much on Corps and Criminals or the World's Edge Arena; though I could access those files via my Google Drive, I find it hard to get any actual work done while using this keyboard. Hopefully by next week I'll have my reliable computer set up at the new apartment and will be able to get back to work, but in the meantime I'll share some of the progress on World's Edge.

At this point, I've decided to make World's Edge Arena a micro-supplement for Psi-punk. It won't be a full 64 pages like Corps and criminals, but it will contain plenty of things to do, see, and fight. GMs will have a lot of new material for plot hooks and campaign ideas, and players may get a few cool ideas for characters to play who will fit into the setting.

As it stands right now, World's Edge is about 13 pages of unformatted text, which may translate into about 8 pages formatted. It currently contains a backdrop for the setting, including the arena itself, the nearby town of Punta arenas, Chile, and more.

The arena is structured like a television season, with each episode encompassing one fight. Since all of the matches are televised, it's a bit like a reality TV show with extra blood and gore.

Each contestant may be on a team of 1 to 8 warriors, and there are 8 teams per season. Each team begins their season with two separate matches against psionically-controlled, cybernetically-enhanced preadatory animals. if they survive the first two rounds, they go on to fight in a single-elimination tournament with the rest of the teams.

Wealth is earned for each match completed and is divided evenly amongst all team members, so people on smaller teams may earn more money. In addition to battling one another, each team also vies for the audience's favor and may gain special perks if they've managed to woo the audience enough.

With such a huge arena nearby to draw tourists, the nearby town of Punta Arenas is thriving more than ever. That also means there's a lot of new civil strife as wealthy foreigners show up and move into the town that was traditionally populated by old farm and factory workers with relatively little wealth. There's plenty to do and see around town, and there's plenty for mercenaries and vigilantes to do as well.

Interested in seeing everything there is so far? I've made the document available for viewing and commenting. Let me know what you think!

World's Edge Arena

Friday, November 15, 2013

World's Edge Arena

If you missed it, be sure to check out the update on Corps and Criminals. The first draft of the book is now complete, and I"m awaiting feedback from some folks I've sent it to.

While waiting for that feedback, I decided to take some inspiration I got from reading Fields of Blood and Honor, a systemless guidebook to using arenas in your games, and begin work on another small supplement for Psi-punk.

World's Edge Arena is a gladiatorial blood sport which is televised worldwide and is quite popular. I drew a lot of inspiration from other modern/futuristic/Sci-Fi arenas like Mojoverse, Running Man, Thunderdome, and Smash TV.

Expect a distinctly Psi-punk twist to the World's Edge, though. There aren't many other arenas in which psychically-controled, cybernetically-enhanced panthers are the norm.

Here's the short introductory chapter:

World’s Edge Arena

At the edge of the world, in the still largely-untamed land of Patagonia, there is a place where athletes, soldiers, street runners, and thrill-seekers gather to test their mettle. The land is harsh, with relatively low average temperatures and intense wind, but that’s not what draws these people here. In this remote and unforgiving landscape lies a gladiatorial arena where men, women, and animals of all stripes compete in deadly blood sports far from the watchful gaze of governments and mega-corps.

Known as the World’s Edge Arena, this 50,000 square-foot stadium of death was built in 2085 by young trillionaire  Scott Turner. When asked why he built the complex in Patagonia, Turner responded:

“I heard about this place in Chile called Punta Arenas. Arenas. That’s just perfect for an arena, you know?”

The fact that Punta Arenas means “Sandy Point” was completely lost on Turner.
Regardless of his motives, Turner built the World’s Edge Arena to sate the public’s growing hunger for blood sports. Athletic competitions throughout the world are too safe, he said in an interview, and what the public really wanted to see was blood and gore and death. World’s Edge offers all three.

“Why do people watch American-style football, or ice hockey, or rugby?” asks Turner rhetorically. “For the violence, man! Deep down, we all want to see people get crushed. And with the restrictions on cybernetics in contact sports, we’re just not getting that anymore.”

“Sure,” he adds, “you can always tune into the cyberweight kickboxing leagues, and that’s cool. I really love Tommy ‘Two Tons’ Thompson as much as the next guy. But it’s like, at the end of the day, those guys just get slapped with a couple stem packs and they’re good as new. Everyone knows there’s no risk. People like risk. It’s exciting!”

At World’s Edge Arena, contestants enter a stadium with constantly shifting terrain and environmental hazards. Men and women from all walks of life enter in teams of one to eight and battle against carnivorous animals, androids, and—during the season finals—other teams of live humans.

Each event is broadcast worldwide to millions of viewers from any country where the matches haven’t yet been banned. An additional 100,000 rabid fans pack the stadium each night. Despite the broadcast already being in its 11th season, World’s Edge ratings are still climbing at a steady rate.

“I moved to Patagonia just to get to attend every match live,” says super-fan Allen Greenspan, 32. “I just couldn’t justify the travel expenses to my wife anymore. It’s like, I was spending so much time here, I might as well just make Argentina my home.”

When corrected about Punta Arenas being in Chile, not Argentina, Greenspan added: “Oh, right. Chile. Whatever. Hey, is this going to be in the news? Hi Lisa! Wish you were here!”

The Real Full Contact Sport

Turner’s arena features what he claims to be “the most realistic blood sport since Roman times.” Indeed, he modeled the competition after ancient gladiatorial combat, albeit with a modern twist.

“We just replace spears and nets with guns and Tasers. Instead of just throwing people to mundane lions, we pit them against cybernetically-enhanced, mind-controlled beasts capable of human reasoning. Those old-fashioned lions wouldn’t be much of a challenge against modern weapons, you know?”

It isn’t just an open battlefield where opponents clash and claw at each other until only one is left standing, either. Turner’s arena is an indoor jungle with plenty of room to maneuver and hide. It takes a skilled hunter to track and kill his enemy, and an alert hunter to avoid getting mauled to death by a panther.

The dense vegetation would make for a terrible viewing experience if it weren’t for the chase cams each contestant (including the animals) wears. Viewers are treated to a first-person view of all of the action, and real-time predictive algorithms are in place to ensure the best view at all times.

“I just love when they cut to a shot of a panther stalking up on some guy,” says Alita Monroe, 24. “The last thing he sees is his life flash before his eyes, but we get to see the back of his exposed neck as the cat rips into it!”

“It’s a djungle  in there,” remarks Gunther P., a college student from the GEU. “You never know who ist going to get ze drop on whom.”

One might wonder how the arena manages to attract so many contestants, when they each know their life may be forfeit just for entering. To date, World’s Edge has a death toll of 4,257 men and women, not to mention many more animals. Despite the decreased life expectancy of anyone who enters, the sport’s numbers aren’t diminishing.

“We offer great cash prizes to all of the winners,” explains Turner. “If you win an evening at the World’s Edge, you’re set for a year at least. The lucky few who take first place might be set for life. However long that may be.”

When asked about the supply of animals, many of which are endangered species, Turner reveals his secret: “The animals, they’re all clones. We’ve got those stupid animal rights activists barking at us all the time as it is, there’s no way we could get away with using the real thing. But clones, there’s and endless supply of those. And we recycle the parts.”

Too Legit to… Wait, What?

Despite its popularity, many world powers have tried to bring an end to Turner’s operations. Governments, mega-corps, and local authorities have allmade unsuccessful attempts to shut down the World’s Edge, but Turner isn’t worried.

“We’re a totally legit operation, you know?” Turner said. “We pay our one percent tax to Chile, and we operate in a country where blood sports were totally made legal just before we moved in.”

Turner continues: “But other countries and companies want to shut me down. MarkeTech doesn’t like that I run a sporting event they don’t own. The NAU doesn’t like that I’m an expatriate and spending all my money in a foreign country. And Punta Arenas, well, their cops are a bit concerned about the increased crime rate as children emulate what they’re seeing on TV and at our stadium.”

Even though he has a lot of enemies in high places, Turner has a lot of friends in high places, too. World’s Edge is a popular sporting event in the Oceanic League, the Asia-Pacific Union, and throughout the Greater European Union. Only the Arab League and Sub-Sahara seem to have any complaints about his broadcasts, and Turner doesn’t seem bothered by that.

“You know, they don’t have to like it. IF it’s not for them, that’s cool.” Says Turner. “But the NAU, you know. They eat this stuff up, but their government just wants to collect. But they’re not getting any from me.”

The Future of World’s Edge

World’s Edge Arena is in its 11th season and still going strong. This year they expect to see less growth than in previous years, but Turner believes that’s because they’ve already reached their saturation point. Despite that, World’s Edge Arena is constantly looking for new recruits to participate in the sport.

“We’ll take anyone with combat training, whether it’s formal or informal,” says Turner. “We’ve had everything from GEU soldiers to cab drivers with a lot of pent up road rage.”

Turner assures us the next season of World’s Edge is going to be huge. “It’s going to be bigger and bloodier than ever. We’re still looking for a few more teams for next season. And we have this big new event planned that I don’t want to give away, but let’s just say it goes ‘RAAR!’”

This story brought to you by Celes Calderon, Independent News Network.

Hopefully you enjoyed this first look. This supplement is still in its early stages of development, but I look forward to fleshing it out.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Corps and Criminals: Update #3

Remember back in September when I said I'd be posting more regular updates? Well, that was before I knew I had a baby on the way and an impending move. Sorry about that.

Just because I haven't updated in two months doesn't mean I haven't been working on Psi-punk though. The new Corps and Criminals book is coming along quite nicely. I have finished the first draft, and now it's a matter of refining, tweaking, and polishing.

The book now sits at 26,738 words, or about 71 mildly-formatted pages in MS Word.

Chapter 4: Mafias is complete with 7 mega criminal empires to add to your games. Each contains NPC write-ups for the mafia's leadership characters as well as stats for common mooks, thugs, and underlings.

If anyone is interested in doing some first-pass proofreading in exchange for a sneak peak at the book, let me know!

Fire Starters

In case you don't follow the Accessible Games Blog, I also recently released a systemless book called Fire Starters: 10 Adventure Seeds to Spark Your Cyberpunk Campaign. These adventure seeds are designed to help you get the imagination started if you're having trouble coming up with a plot for your cyberpunk campaign, and they fit particularly well with Psi-punk.

For more information about Fire Starters, check out the official page.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Corps and Criminals Gangs: Cyberwave

Gangs come in many varieties, and they're not necessarily the street thugs we commonly associate with the term. Here's one such example of a group of people who don't exactly fit the strict definition of a gang but may be able to cause plenty of problems for people.


Turf: Neighborhood
Leader: D.J. Flash
Cyberwave is a group of older teenagers and 20-somethings who gather in abandoned warehouses to have fun, party, and rave to their heart’s content. They follow a musician known as D.J. Flash who handles all of the music at their club parties, which is a special blend of ultra-modern techno and post-industrial rock.

The trend in the group is to don ever bigger, brighter, and flashier streetware to really make a scene. Initiates usually show up sporting case lights (flashing lights affixed to one’s skull) while long-term members have gone so far as to mod their entire torsos with colored tattoos that shift in time with the music’s beat.

Cyberwave seem to be mostly harmless at first glance, but the amount of drugs pumping through their systems has a tendency to cause a lot of bad trips and violent outbursts. D.J. Flash insists It’s not his place to tell people how to act at a party and refuses to take responsibility, but some claim he puts subliminal, psychological, and possibly psychically-charged hidden messages in his music that causes listeners to become unnecessarily agitated.

Parties usually occur at night in abandoned warehouses where breaking and entering is common but largely unpunished. During the day, the group is encouraged to spread word of their gatherings and recruit even more members. Their numbers have been steadily increasing and Cyberwave regularly moves to larger warehouses. It isn’t certain, but hushed whispers speak of how D.J. Flash must be gathering recruits for some larger and more sinister purpose.

Common Cyberwave Member

ODFs +3; DDFs -1 (normally +1/+1, but they use Aggressive posture when drugged up and agitated)
Weapon: Knives, clubs, or small handguns (Range: Good, Rof: S; Reload: 3)
Wound Levels: 1-2 (Scratched), 3-4 (Hurt), 5+ (Incapacitated)

D.J. Flash

ODFs +4; DDFs +4
Manipulation: Superb; Specialization: Bluff
Artistic: Great
Social (Informal): Great
Gifts: Telepathy [Great]; mind control [Great]
Faults: Hidden motives
Luck Points: 1
Wound Levels: Normal wound track

What do you think of Cyberwave? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Corps and Criminals Update #2

I've been spending a lot of time on the Accessible Games Blog lately talking about Monster Kart Mayhem, another new Fudge-compatible game I've been developing lately. That doesn't mean I have stopped work on Corps and Criminals though, and here's proof.

Category As of July 26th Update As of September 12th
Word Count 14,695 22,745
# Mega-Corps 8 8
# Cartels 5 12
# Gangs 11 14

As you can see, I've added 8,000 words, 7 Cartels, and 3 new gangs since our last update. Additionally, I've added a new chapter that is still in the works: Chapter 4: Mafias.

Unlike cartels, mafias are criminal organizations that rival megacorps in terms of influence and wealth. They are often comprised of many people of similar ethnic backgrounds and origins, but they're not always so exclusive.

New details about how to use a mafia in your game, including how to tailor a campaign to fit in with characters who may have a mafia in their background, are also included in the new sourcebook.

That's the general overview of the updates over the last 6 weeks. My goal is to be more regular in these updates and provide specific details about the new organizations you'll find in the upcoming sourcebook as the weeks move on.

Other than detailed organizations and bits of information about how to use them in your game (both from GM and player perspectives) what else would you like to see in the Corps and Criminals sourcebook? Would you like short adventure seeds to help you get your GM juices flowing, or detailed background Gift/Fault packages for your players? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Psi-punk at VirtuaCon '13

Psi-punk is coming to VirtuaCon '13! Player sign-ups went live yesterday, August 26th, and slots are filling up fast. If you'd like a chance to play Psi-punk with me via Google Hangouts, head on over to the Player Sign-up Announcement.

Wait, What's VirtuaCon?

Unofficially dubbed "the best 3 days in virtual gaming," VirtuaCon is's online convention. 

Here's what RPGGeek officially has to say:

Virtuacon is the gaming convention you attend from the comfort of your own home. It is happening Friday October 18th through Sunday October 20th, 2013. Like traditional conventions, we've got industry speakers, plenty of slotted gaming events, contests, and $1500 in prizes thanks to our generous sponsors! Our focus is on Role-Playing games, but if you've played and enjoyed games like Castle Ravenloft, Shadow Hunters or Shadows over Camelot, you are sure to find some amazing adventure in Role-Playing. This is the real deal - experienced Game Masters at the top of their craft to run you through a carefully selected set of adventures. Don't miss this opportunity for a live Role-Playing gaming session!
Psi-punk specifically will be running in Time Slot C (Friday, October 18th at 7:00 p.m. PST, or 19-Oct-2013 at 02:00 UTC). No experience is necessary to play, but you do need to sign up soon because there are a limited number of slots and they're going fast.

If you don't get a chance to join us to play, this event will be broadcast live via Google Hangouts On Air and recorded to YouTube, so you can watch the game as it happens or later at your convenience.

While your'e at it, sign up for other great VirtuaCOn games, panels, and contests. There is a lot happening -- 84 games, a dozen or so industry speaker panels, and tons of contests. It's going to be huge!

Finally, as a reminder, Psi-punk and other Accessible Games products are on sale for 20% off until the end of August. There are only a few days left, so head on over to DriveThruRPG and pick up your copy.