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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 06:12 PM
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Bulldogs - Scavenging the Back Forty

Currently Full


>>>Music<<<

Intro
"No doubt the first time 'cluster f@&*' ever passed someone's lips, they meant the Dixon Cluster.

"We call it the Back Forty now, rather than Dixon, 'cause Dixon was only what people called it when they thought this stretch of stars was worth a damn. But the empires don't need systems just for the sake of space anymore, especially not this sewer -- backwater survival worlds, nebula's whiting out your nav, and too many damn pirates hiding in rocks -- that headache just ain't worth it to the Core Six anymore. They want easy resources and goldilocks worlds, or even just something petty the other big contenders might actually be interested in, just to spite 'em. But no one's priority list has Dixon on it and hasn't for almost a century. In fact, this whole damn sector could finally drain down that black hole we're circling without the core even noticing.

"And that's the lure of the Forty -- ain't nobody paying attention to us."


What is FATE/Bulldogs
Bulldogs!

right-aligned image
What flavor of space opera is this? It should taste like truckstop maple-bars the size of your arm washed down with the scalding dregs of a coffee-pot that's never been cleaned. Bulldogs is a Space Opera setting for Fate Core rules featuring Blue-Collar Misfits, enduring Dirty Jobs, and Kicking Ass.
  • Space Opera -- By space opera I mean that the actual science is pretty handwavey. Anti-gravity guns, FTL space travel, odd alien species and physics... I'll try to maintain some consistency within our own arbitrary parameters, but I'm not going for plausibility here. In addition to the fairly outlandish science at times, it's also heavily focused on the dynamics between the crew (the PCs).
  • Blue-Collar Misfits -- You're not heroes. Maybe some of you could have been, if you didn't royally screw it up. So now you find yourself working the absolute bottom rung -- where holoscreens flicker and freeze up, where toilets and showers are in the same metal closet, and payouts mean you can eat for another month and maybe afford that second-hand pulse-rifle you saw down at Grobit's.
  • Dirty Jobs -- You don't go on "adventures" so much as do your damn jobs, working for a pangalactic shipping/odds-and-ends compay. These jobs are usually insanely dangerous, foul and unsavory, or impossibly aggravating. You get to do them, however, not because you're the best (see above) but because you're expendable. Oh yeah, and none of you are actually the Captain of your ship. We get to create xer together and xe's the. literal. worst.
  • Kicking Ass -- But at the end of the day cycle, this is still Fate Core, so it's super pulpy. That means that ironically you guys are incredibly awesome at what you do, in the worst imaginable circumstances, even if you're horrible at life in general. So take huge risks and do crazy things, because the game is designed to let you get away with stuff like that for the sake of wild stories.

Fate Core Rules

  • Fate Core, the core rules can be downloaded >>>>here<<<< at whatever price you deem fit.
  • Bulldogs, the setting specifics, can be found >>>>here<<<< for $10. (This isn't required, as I can help you out as long as you learn the Fate Core rules. But it's an awesome game and well worth it!)


Newcomers and beginners with Fate Core are welcome and encouraged!


I'm happy to help people learn this system that might be just checking it out. Please, however, actually read through the rulebook. It's pay-what-you-want, and a fairly entertaining read. I'm great at helping people understand concepts and guide them through the jargon, but I've never yet been able to teach someone a system who expects me to entirely replace the rulebook. Also, please be aware that the feel is VERY different from The-World's-Most-Popular-Role-Playing-Game. So there might be a steep learning curve at first (which feels a bit like free falling, if I accurately remember when I was learning).

General Overview


On that note, Fate Core is a story-game. So the mechanics emphasize the patterns of narrative rather than simulation. A basic roll uses Fate Dice (Six-sided dice with 2 +'s, 2 -'s, and 2 <blank>'s). You roll four of them and sum the result, then add or subtract a fixed number set by skills or circumstances.

**See Below**

Most of the game however revolves around Aspects, which are short phrases that describe situations, personalities, items, etc. Because these are the heart of the system, the greatest portion of character creation is figuring out evocative ways to describe your character, rather than simply assigning numbers.

Dice * Roll:
4df 1, -1, -1, 1 Total = 0



What Next?Applications...
  1. Create a character. (or at least the beginning of one). In the following post I'll outline character creation rules as succinctly as I can, outlining where I may diverge from the book. There will be places that you're welcome to leave some blanks right now as well, to be further defined later (or even in play if you prefer).
    You don't need to include a background/history or anything like that (though a brief description or picture always helps me visualize him/her/them)
  2. What's your familiarity with Fate Core? (I don't mind if you've never even heard of it, but it really helps me to know)
  3. Make a short Palette List of (1) What gets you really excited about a Space Opera game? What sort of things would you want to be included? (2) What can you imagine going along with that genre that really quickly sours the flavor for you? What would you like us to maybe steer clear of?


I’ll be selecting 4 players total. Deadline will be the end of the day - Monday, November 30th.


Credit goes to Sparth for the original of the altered illustration at the top, and to Juan Ochoa for the illustration of the mechanic prying open the side panel.

Last edited by kdtompos; Nov 30th, 2020 at 11:23 PM.
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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 06:14 PM
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Character Creation
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How to Make a Character
(At least, a partial one for the Application)
  1. *Concept/Species/Name/Description*
  2. Aspects
  3. Skill Pyramid
  4. Stunts/Abilities
  5. Gear
  6. Finishing Touches

I can set you up with a template for a full character sheet later, but for now, these are the essential parts to determine (at least in part).

*Concept/Species/Description/Name*

 


Aspects

Each character will create seven Aspects, but three of those can't be chosen until you know who the rest of the crew is. So for now, you can create these four:
Main Concept/Aptitude
Trouble/Class D
Background/Heritage
Background/Heritage
Just as you'll find in the Fate Core rules: Main Concept is the grand idea of who you are. This should include what sort of role you take in the crew (Aptitude). Trouble or Class D Aspect is what makes your character a misfit. Why are you down at the bottom? What makes you a screw up? Finally, the Background/Heritage Aspects are kinda freeform -- anything about your history or background or species or culture that will make you stand out.

Here's some more personal advice on Aspects, for those that are interested.
 



Skills

It's called a pyramid because you get:
  • one skill at +4
  • two skills at +3
  • three skills at +2
  • four skills at +1

Pick your top skill (+4) as well as both or your next (+3) skills. You could complete the pyramid if you want, or fill them in as you need them. Knowing your biggest ones though really helps.

 


Stunts/Abilities

You get 2 Stunts.

You can pick these from the Bulldogs book, or Fate Core if adapted to the fitting skills, etc. You can even create your own if comfortable with doing so and I'll work with ya on it.

You get the Abilities listed/chosen with your Species.
There's a number beside it, likely negative, that shows how this affects your Refresh. Every PC starts with 6 Refresh. That will likely drop from your Species abilities. You can drop it further to choose more stunts (1 Refresh = 1 more Stunt) or you can drop it further to get more Gear...
Gear

Every PC begins with 2 Gear points.

As stated above, you start with 6 Refresh. This can be spent for more Gear points (1 Refresh = 2 Gear points)

We will assume that you likely have anything related to your career. You likely have changes of clothing, some personal items, etc. You just spend Gear points on the things that are mechanically significant.

Your pieces of Gear also get Aspects that can be invoked or compelled.

Finishing Touches

This part's easy. We make sure your Refresh adds up (6 minus any spent on Abilities/Stunts/Gear). We check stress boxes and consequences that may be altered by skill choices. Then we wait until we've got a full crew.



Art credits: Pheberoni for the smuggler, and Jerad Marantz crew of alien outlaws.

Last edited by kdtompos; Nov 21st, 2020 at 09:52 PM.
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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 06:15 PM
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Applicants:
  Player Character Species High Concept Link Complete Enough?
1ElderOblex Shōri Ha-kata Hikari Bodyguard Open for Business or Pleasure Here Yes
2Arthilian01 Gerald Cranks Marisuvian Over-the-hill, Out-of-luck, Third-Chance Junker/Salvager Selling Scrapped Parts Here Yes
3orcbane U-P-48807, aka "The Abbot" Robot Utilitybot with Ship-envy Here Yes
4XQBitor Mr. Grump Urseminite Here WIP
5SelfAwareNPC Burble Tetsuashan Love Starved Body Snatcher Here Yes
6Still_Pond Roku (Lucky) Zephron Dr. Chuckle and Mr. Hide Here Yes

Last edited by kdtompos; Nov 26th, 2020 at 09:19 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 12:37 AM
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I looooove this concept! I have a techie character I made for a Star Wars game a long time ago that ended tragically early, and I would love to try and build him within the context of this game if you'd be open to that. Otherwise, I can come up with a different concept.

He was a chiss; obviously that would change, but it could be a cool opportunity to play around with the race creation rules to make a rough equivalent.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 07:12 AM
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I might be in over my goopy head here, but I'm willing to learn, and join!

Hope I'm doing this right!

Big-idea Bunny
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*Concept/Species/Name/Description*
Shōri Ha-kata, Hikari Yojimbo

Former member of Matriarch Isepo's harem, recently stowed-away on a passing ship end ended up on the Back Forty to start a life of his own. Mostly that life's been kinda ***ty, and scavenging or "sweet-talking" to ugly Marisuvians with a penchant for rough types doesn't pay nearly enough, but at least he's free. And there's now way the Matriarch's going looking for him here... Right?

Aspects
Main Concept/Aptitude: Bodyguard open for business or pleasure
Trouble/Class D: 'Star Queen'? How about 'Emperor?'
Background/Heritage: The matriarch would like you back
Background/Heritage: It's not piracy if there's no law

Skill Pyramid
Fight +4
Athletics +3
Empathy +3
Physique +2
Stealth +2
Rapport +2
Command +1
Haggle +1
Survival +1
Contacts +1

Stunts/Abilities

Gear
Finishing Touches


Familiarity with Fate Core: Zero, sadly. And the departure from D&D seems quite a long way, but I'm willing to learn.

Pallete List: (1) I like the Wild Space Outlaw kind of vibe it gives of, and enjoy exploration in both micro and macro levels in a setting like these. Shenanigans like time travel and alternate dimensions are also tropes I like seeing in SciFi, and this environment seems perfect for it!
(2) PG-13 guidelines aside, anything that gets too into the darker aspects of reality (abuse, suicide, cruelty, etc.) would sour the fun for me.

Last edited by ElderOblex; Nov 27th, 2020 at 11:21 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 11:47 AM
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I have never played it but have looked into it a bit, barely scratching the surface.

I'm going to need a lot of help, prolly.

I kinda thinking a muscle-y drunk?

Parts for sale:*Concept/Species/Name/Description*
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-Gerald Cranks
-Marisuvian
-Junker/Scrapper/Salvager
An over the hill drunk that never made it out of the last dead end job he fell into after a long line of dead end jobs.

Aspects:
Main Concept/Aptitude: Over-the-hill, out-of-luck, Third-chance, junker/salvager selling scrapped parts
Trouble/Class D: Cigars and alcohol. (His ambition is limited by a world that wants to keep him down)
Background/Heritage Abusive father and absent Mother (Tough and used to conflict)
Background/Heritage Nine to five (He's the perfect example of blue-collar, work till he dies. What's retirement?)

Skill Pyramid:
Engineering (+4): He knows how to tear things apart
Haggle (+3): He knows what he's got and how much it sells for.
Physique (+3) If it ain't junk, he turns it into junk, Organic or not.
Lore (+2): He might be able to put it back together and make it work.
Athletics (+2): He climbs around old junk all day.
Resolve (+2): He's been around a while and seen some stuff.
Fight (+1): When you grow up on your own in a rough part of the city, Ya learn how to fight back.
Pilot (+1): I've seen the controls and I know what they do.
Survival (+1): Every try finding an Extrapolated Fusion Quadrinator in a stack of Half-cocked Kaliper-pumps?
Shoot (+1): Ya point the barrel at the target and pull the trigger, It's not that hard, right?

Stunts/Abilities:
Stunts:
-Use Engineering instead of Physique when tearing through junk or salvage, because for you it's more about knowing where to break through than sheer force.Junk It!

-Gain a +2 to overcome rolls when haggling to sell scrap parts and junk.Sell it!

Abilities:
-You know how to conserve your energy when undergoing lengthy athletic activity. You may use Athletics instead of Endurance when making tests against fatigue; in most other cases, you may complement any Endurance rolls with your Athletics.Marathon training (-1)

-Marisuvians are insatiable when it comes to material possessions and acquisition of status. The GM can compel this attribute as if it were an aspect once per session. If the player wishes to avoid this compel, she must spend two fate points to refuse.Psychological Weakness (+1)

-When a Marisuvian has the chance to use storytelling in a conversation, they gain a +2 to place a Rapport maneuver.Narrative Communication (-1)

Gear:
-Old but reliableTrusty wrench - named Lucille or Lucy for short.

Finishing Touches: 2 Refresh remaining?

(1) What gets you really excited about a Space Opera game? What sort of things would you want to be included?
-I grew up with Star Wars, starting with episode 4 and I fell in love with it, It became almost like a religion to me. I feel torn between future sci-fi and medieval fantasy but why choose? I love it all.

-I am good with everything being included, if you have an idea, lets revolve on that and play it together.

(2) What can you imagine going along with that genre that really quickly sours the flavor for you? What would you like us to maybe steer clear of?
-I'm good with most everything that goes along with the genre as far as I have been exposed to.

-Over-gore, I don't mind a little bit of Matt Mercer's 'How do you want to do this' endings to a bad guy but once it's over, it's over. No twisting the knife to make it more ... gruesome?

 
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Last edited by Arthilian01; Nov 29th, 2020 at 10:55 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 01:03 PM
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*Concept/Species/Name/Description*
Reliable Industrial Machines model: U-P-48807, aka "The Abbot"

A head-in-the-nebulas robot that that harbors a secret desire to be a starship.

Its opinions of ship systems can differ between hero-worship (for those it likes) and almost-murderous scorn (for those it thinks don't deserve the ship they control). Biologicals can be necessary to keep a ship running, making them more symbiote than parasite... but only the good ones.
 


My familiarity with FATE.
I played Spirit of the Century once and had a great time. I've studied the system fundamentals in the past. It was quite the innovative system for its time, and remains gracefully usable. I have almost purchased fudge dice in the past, more from the perspective of a dice collector than to play the game, but never pulled the trigger.

(1) What gets you really excited about a Space Opera game? What sort of things would you want to be included?
I love space opera that focuses on the gritty, dirty adventures. Crazy weapons, rad armor, ridiculous ships, incredible machines, cool aliens, terrifying monsters, suspicious robots, explody action, tense repairs, ad the ability to solve problems with complex combinations of persuasion, violence, magic, and technological know-how. I love it.

Using Star Wars as an example, the Jabba's Palace sequence really epitomizes what I love in Space Opera. Cool Jedi business is fun, too, and the war maneuvers of fleets, clone troopers, and rebel soldiers can be fun, but what I want is that messy scoundrel action. The Mandalorian is really giving me some of the solid Star Wars action I've been craving.

I'm not against the more thoughtful side of things, though. Martha Wells' Murderbot Diaries are awesome, and I just finished reading Becky Chambers' A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Both offer more introspection than pure action focus, and they're both great. I could definitely see myself enjoying some of that in a PbP game.

(2) What can you imagine going along with that genre that really quickly sours the flavor for you? What would you like us to maybe steer clear of?
This is a very important question. Thank you for asking it!

I'm OK with most topic matters, especially those that fit into the site's PG-13 policy. I would say that gratuitously violent or gleeful torture can quickly make me check out of a story (see Iain Banks's Consider Phlebas as an example of something that loses my interest). I get that it can emphasize the villainy of an antagonist, but I'd rather not linger on it for too long.
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Last edited by orcbane; Nov 28th, 2020 at 12:13 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 02:04 PM
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Ah, a new game ad that isn't another d&d 5ed in a cesspool of d&d 5ed. And those always have my attention. Do you have an idea what the expected posting rate is going to be?

I'm thinking a 'warrant in every port' Urseminites, who enjoys swearing, womanizing, guns, gambling and more guns
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 02:52 PM
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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that this game is cranking up - Awesome system choice and game concept.

Congrats and good luck!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 03:01 PM
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Very cool. I'm glad other people are interested in this. I know Fate can seem a bit daunting, but man I think it's an elegant system. So yeah, anyone who feels like they're a bit over their heads, no worries from this side. I'll help explain some stuff.

-@Arthilian01, great start. I like it. That Main Concept has a lot in it, and I think that's fantastic, because it gives me a really strong concept of who he is -- then the other aspects can help add dimensions, ya know?

The way you did skills looks pretty sweet too, but that's the sort of thing to bring to stunts. Here's what I mean:

Skills: They're the driest part of this game, but add a bit of granularity to what otherwise could be way too nebulous. You honestly just pick from the 19 listed above and assign 10 to your pyramid.

Looking at your descriptions, it looks like Engineering, Haggle, and probably Physique are in your top three (meaning your +4, +3, and other +3). Fixing (and Scrapping), Selling, and Smashing respectively.

Stunts: These are trickier, but luckily the books have numerous examples if people would rather just pick something and plug it in. But it's really fun to make them. In general they fit into one of three categories - Do better using (skill) to (action) when (situation) / Use
(higher skill) in place of (lower skill) when (situation)
/ Break the rules in minor way for free, or bigger way with a cost

Let me throw out an example of all three of those styles based off of your Junk It! idea (off the top of my head, so they may not be great...):
  1. Gain a +2 to Overcome rolls with Engineering when scrapping, salvaging, or junking equipment.
  2. Use Engineering instead of Physique when tearing through junk or salvage, because for you it's more about knowing where to break through than sheer force
  3. Once per scene, if there's any reasonable amount of junk or discarded items around you may declare an item that you find or can scrap together. This either overcomes the need for a generic tool or automatically Creates an Advantage with a free invoke on it.


-@orcbane, I love that concept. Ship-envy is brilliant. That's honestly all I have to say.

No wait. This is a good example of how the Main Concept doesn't have to be super long to pack a lot into it. I figured I should point that out.

*(I also just realized that I keep calling it Main Concept, when the book calls it High Concept. Man... jargon.)


-@XQBitor, great question. I like when there are new posts each day, but I know how that ebbs and flows. So realistically, I'm expecting 3-4 posts a week. I will be holding myself to posting an update every other weekday at least - ideally every weekday, though. This may just be adding flavor to something while people are making decisions, etc. If we're stuck in something mechanical (rules-wise) and held up by players that get busy with life (which is understandable), I will push it forward after two days anyway. I'll ascribing a generic but reasonable action on their part and they can jump in as soon as things calm down a bit. On the other side of the spectrum, if there's a lot of activity in one day, but some players aren't able to jump in that quickly I will hold back from progressing the scene so others have a chance to contribute as well.

Also, everyone loves (ironically) the Urseminites, so go for it!


-Everyone, since there's a fair amount of people that are new to Fate/Bulldogs, I'll include here some pregens that have been created for Cons/etc. I know the books have examples, but sometimes being able to see other completed sheets helps people grasp it.

Character Sheets (Not mine)
Collection I created for a One Shot (Aspects only)

Last edited by kdtompos; Nov 22nd, 2020 at 06:28 PM. Reason: There, their, they're
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 07:51 PM
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We used FC in the Hoffmann Institute for about 4 acts or so... I have a lot of character examples just using simple posts starting about here. (Please don't judge me by how many characters are in my morgue )

I'm not sure if any of that may be helpful but feel free to take anything that you wish for your folks. FC is going to be great for Bulldogs!

- Savy
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Last edited by savoylen; Nov 22nd, 2020 at 11:56 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 07:53 PM
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I can't seem to find the bulldogs extension for free, Is it okay if I do it with Fate Core?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthilian01 View Post
I can't seem to find the bulldogs extension for free, Is it okay if I do it with Fate Core?
Sure thing. Most is the same. You have the Bulldogs skill list above, and if you find a stunt you like but for a skill not represented, there’s probably a simple analog. The only thing that will really catch you is the gear, and I can make a document of that info to make available to players.

Also, thank you VERY MUCH savoylen for those examples!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 09:35 PM
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Yay, praise!

Quick(ish) question:
When purchasing gear, does tier relate to cost?

I'm looking through the book, and I can't find anything that says Tier 2 armor costs more than Tier 1 armor. It just notes that they are of different tiers. I would imagine that Tier 2 armor costs 2 Gear Points, but I'm not finding that in the book.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 10:21 PM
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kdtompos kdtompos is offline
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Yeah, you’ve got the gist of it. Cost in gear points is tier + mods. So tier 2 armor should be 2 gear points I believe. I’m trying to find where that is stated explicitly and haven’t found it yet either. However, the example on pg. 150 states that a heavy flamethrower would be 3 credits (so I extrapolate: light weapon=1, medium=2, heavy=3).

The green box example on page 69 implies the same: medium rifle for 2 gear points, light armor and light shield each 1 more gear point.

I’ll keep looking for something more concrete. Also, some mods will explicitly state a higher price, though I think the default is 1 gear point each.

Last edited by kdtompos; Nov 22nd, 2020 at 10:24 PM.
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