Sunday, April 29, 2012

Comics You Should Read: Maximum Carnage

It is entirely possible that I should instead call this "in defense of Maximum Carnage".

Apparently, critics hated it. Reportedly, Marvel staffers quietly mocked it. But Maximum Carnage is one of my favorite Spider-Man stories of all time.

In my anecdotal experience, Spider-Man fans can be divided into two groups (usually by age): Those that think Venom is really cool...and those that think he is one of the worst things to ever happen to the Spider-Man mythos. Now, I'm not a die-hard Venom (or Carnage) fan, but I don't hate them...and I love this story.

I'm not going to be quite as picky with spoilers, because this story is almost 20 years old. If you don't know who Venom is, he's Eddie Brock, a newspaper reporter whose sensationalist journalism gets discredited by Spider-Man, and who bonds with the alien symbiote that forms Spider-Man's black suit. Carnage is Cletus Kasady, a serial killer who has bonded with a spawn of the Venom symbiote. As the story begins, Venom is becoming an anti-hero in San Francisco, Spider-Man is mourning the death of Harry Osborn and Kasady is locked in Ravencroft Asylum (the Arkham Asylum for the Spider-Man family of books in the early 90s). Oh, and Spider-Man's parents have seemingly returned from the dead, apparently spies who spent 20 years locked in a Soviet prison.

In Act One, we waste no time in discovering that Kasady's symbiote has mutated and now lives in his bloodstream...and he breaks out of Ravencroft, slaughtering the staff along the way. He joins forces with another inmate named Shriek, and the two set out into the city, wreaking havoc. Soon, they join forces with the Spider-Doppleganger from Infinity War and Spider-Man (who promised Mary Jane that he would give up being Spidey for two weeks - and broke that promise hours later), gets his ribs busted fighting Shriek and Doppleganger. Venom catches wind of Carnage's return and heads to New York...where Carnage lures HIM into trap. Cloak and Dagger join Spidey, but Dagger is seemingly killed by Shriek, and by the end of the first act, the city is rioting...Spidey is losing his grip, Dagger is dead, Cloak and Black Cat have joined Venom in a bloodhunt for Carnage and Carnage has added the Demogoblin to his twisted "family". In fact, part five (written by JM DeMatteis) ends in a powerful scene where Spider-Man fights off a mob and vows that he is done showing mercy.

In Act Two, Morbius joins Venom, Black Cat and Cloak and the four of them are nearly taken apart in a nightclub (where Mary Jane is also present) before Spider-Man saves the day. Spidey and Venom decide to break into Four Freedoms Plaza and steal a sonic gun while Morbius has to withdraw in the sunlight and Cloak goes searching for Firestar (Human Torch is off planet). Meanwhile, Deathlok attacks Carnage's crew (which has also added Carrion to the mix), and is taken down in a chilling juxtaposition as Spider-Man declares that Carnage's "family" will have to fall in the face of science. Deathlok is saved by Iron Fist, and Carnage proves resistant to the sonic gun...but not Firestar's microwaves. This builds, again, to another amazing high point in which Venom pushes Firestar to kill Carnage but she resists...until Spider-Man tells her it's the only way. Firestar, holding Spider-Man as an example of a real hero, agrees to do it...only pulling back when Spidey tells her to stop at the last second. Venom lashes out at Spider-Man, only to be captured by Shriek and Carnage for more torture. Spider-Man, physically crushed and emotionally suffocating, is left looking for another way...when Captain America offers him a hand.

In Act Three, Black Cat, Morbius, Nightwatch and Cloak have aligned with Venom (who is still captured by Carnage), while Spider-Man, Captain America, Deathlok, Iron Fist and Firestar have joined forces, seeking a better way to end things. They discover that Shriek is, literally, the source of the riots...she's been broadcasting hate ever since Carnage broke her out. Black Cat, injured, drops out of the fight, Morbius bails out with the rising sun, Nightwatch also pulls out and Venom goes missing after breaking away from Carnage, whose family is beginning to implode (what, psychopaths can't get along?!?). Cloak returns to his church seeking guidance...and discovers that Dagger is still alive, inside of him. Dagger, overloaded on "light" becomes the rallying point against Shriek, and her, Iron Fist and Deathlok rig together a "good bomb", which turns Carrion back human, redeems Shriek (at least temporarily) and seemingly kills Carnage. In the end, we find out Carnage is still alive, but even more unhinged, and the series ends in a three way brawl between Spider-Man, Carnage and Venom that results in Venom slipping away, Carnage being taken into custody by the Avengers and Black Cat performing an 11th hour save in a character moment showing her learning from Spider-Man over Venom.

While the story does get anvilicious at points, it is a great example of not only good over evil, but good over grey as well, with the antiheroes all either folding in the face of adversity, or being inspired by the heroes (Black Cat by Spider-Man, Cloak by Dagger, even Spider-Man by Captain America). Peter gets encouragement from Aunt May, in turn showing Mary Jane that what he does is really important, because he makes a difference every time he saves a life, causing her to go off on the cynical Richard Parker.

The story is criticized for having too many guest stars, but in a city wide massacre by supervillains, other characters SHOULD get involved, and the only truly superfluous hero guest stars are, arguably, Nightwatch and Deathlok.

The writing is noticeably done by multiple people (the regular writers for each book), with JM DeMatteis hitting the highest points of the series (especially in parts 5 and 9). At the time, I didn't appreciate Sal Buscema's art, but reading it now, he's a fantastic storyteller who makes the most of his every panel. Mark Bagley, as always, draws an amazing Spider-Man (pun intended), though his Mary Jane looks about like she should die any minute (and dear lord is she trotted around in skimpy outfits for the enjoyment of the fanboys).

Moments like "You'll get no more mercy from Spider-Man!", Spider-Man telling Firestar to NOT stoop to Carnage's level, Captain America's helping hand, Mary Jane telling off Richard Parker, Mary Jane telling Peter that she understands why he has to do what he does and Spider-Man explaining to Venom that he sees Venom the same way Venom sees Carnage are all tremendous highlights.

I've read various articles online that just trash the story out, overanalyzing it, accusing it of oversimplifying things...but forget that. Maximum Carnage is about heroes being heroes even when the rest of the world is going crazy. And that ain't bad.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tommy's Take on Deadlands Reloaded: The Last Sons

Last week, I tackled the first of the Deadlands plot point campaigns, The Flood, featuring  war against Reverend Grimme. This week, it's a war against the Servitor of War himself: Raven.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: The print version is not available yet, but the PDF of Deadlands Reloaded: The Last Sons is available right now for $34.99. A crushing tome of 336 pages, The Last Sons is divided into three major sections: The Tombstone Epitaph, The Player's Guide and the Marshal's Guide.

As is common, the Tombstone Epitaph opens the book, this time beginning with a recap of the events of The Flood. The City of Lost Angels is gone and California is finally independent. A second Rail War has erupted after conflict in Kansas between the railroads exploded. The Union's election has been delayed, Custer's war with The Sioux is heating up. There's even a Hell on Earth reference, discussing Satan's Garden, a Hellish place outside of Deadwood. There are also concerns expressed (and rightfully so), that Darius Hellstromme isn't facing enough scrutiny for the crap that he pulls. A wonderful feature is the Round-Up, a series of job postings that could easily double as plot seeds.

The character creation chapter adapts material from The Ghost Dancers book from Deadlands Classic, expanding options for Native American characters. A number of Indian specific archetypes are suggested, as well as language groups and which tribes speak which. Four new Hindrances (three of which are available as Major or Minor versions) are included, my favorite being Counting Coup - in which your Native Warrior is compelled to touch his foe with a coup stick before he actually moves to strike them. New Edges include Gallows Humor (which lets you laugh in the face of death) and Two-Gun Kid, to maximize your dual gunslinging potential. Totem Spirits and Patron Spirits are also included, the former being specific to Native Americans and the latter applying to Blessed (with Loa and angels listed as Patron Spirit possibilities). A new power is included for contacting the Spirit WOrld, and there are two great sidebars, the first on Native American trappings for Edges and the second for Totem Spirits.

The gear section includes things like coup sticks and peyote, as well as equipment and requisition rules for both the Texas Rangers and The Agency. Agency gear includes boot knives (that pop out of boots), black dusters (designed to assist in the drawing of weapons), gatling carbines and pistol canes! Ranger gear includes Fugitives from Justice in the Confederacy (with Chapter 13), the LeMat Undertaker (a ghost steel pistol that fires special rounds), and the Supernatural Phenomena Survival Kit.

As with The Flood, The Last Sons Player's Section is available as a free download.

The Marshal's section begins with a look at War's Domain, largely encompassing the Disputed Territories. We get an in-depth look at Raven and his plans ever since he attacked The Old Ones and sparked all of this Deadlands insanity. Under the guise of helping the Indian Tribes, he has pushed the pieces around all over the area, including down into Mexico, planting the seeds of war. In fact, he's the reason why the Mexican army was a troublesome issue in The Flood! Once again, the stage is set for the PCs to step in where the NPCs have failed and hopefully shut Raven and War down. There are also references here to Hell on Earth for the sharp-eyed observer, like how The Reckoners cheated (and that Raven is subconsciously aware of it).

The Setting Rules are pretty extensive, starting with "everyone's suspicious" and covering adventuring in the Hunting Grounds (and the Deadlands) - where anyone can count coup on a defeated well as The Ghost Dance and everything it can do (including raise the dead...and not necessarily as a Harrowed...but a full on resurrection). It is, frankly, epic stuff. New relics are also included, like Crazy Horse's coup stick and Wild Bill's six shooters.

A general guide to the region is included, with a sidebar detailing how the region changes after the end of the campaign (not unlike how The Flood changed the Great Maze region). A sidebar also covers the many battlegrounds in the region, as well as their Fear Levels and the features found in the area. The entries in this section also include references to the relevant Savage Tales that feature the area in question. An adventure generator for the Disputed Territories is also included.

The plot point campaign itself includes 9 adventures spanning about a year in the Deadlands timeline, plus an epilogue that allows the survivors to throw their weight around in the aftermath of the Rail War II. Tying into the Hell on Earth connection, the adventures include a trip to The Devil's Tower, the location featured in the trilogy of adventures that originally launched Hell on Earth. Unlike the last PPC, this one isn't about killing the Servitor (Grimme in that one, Raven in this one), but it is about fundamentally altering the world when the posse has to enter the Hunting Grounds and hold off the minions of War itself as native Shamans perform The Great Summoning.

Over 30 Savage Tales are included, with classic Deadlands callouts like a conflict with the Nosferatu that started the infamous Night Trains, a clash with The Butcher and his scalpel (from the dime novel Independence Day), and one Savage Tale that is a chance at taking down Raven...which is every bit has difficult as it sounds, and can have damning consequences on the posse.

A ton of monsters and NPCs are included, from classic Deadlands beasties like huskers and The Revenant, to stock stats for manitous of different power levels, to stats for various Ravenites (including False Ravens) and NPCs like Al Swearengen and The Ghost (the undead Abraham Lincoln), The Gal With No Name (from the Great Rail Wars skirmish game), Jesse James and more.

WHAT WORKS: The book opens with a special thanks to Deadlands fans for keeping the setting around for 16 years...and with all the shoutouts to the history of the setting, it feels reeeeaaally appropriate. I don't know if all of those callouts were were planned that way or not, but a ton of the stuff included in this book are the things I think of when I think "Deadlands". Throw in the setting rules for the Hunting Grounds, an epic plot point campaign that again brings major change to the game world and the fact that they once more made the Player's Guide a freebie, and Pinnacle nails the mark again.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The art was my major gripe. Some of itwas recycled from classic books (though appropriately placed to draw attention to the callouts) and some of it was just a bit too comic booky for what I want out of Deadlands comics.

CONCLUSION: A beefy, beefy tome that outstrips The Flood by almost 150 pages, and much of that is new content that can be used outside of the PPC, which is impressive in its own right. As a Deadlands fanboy, I'm very pleased. The Stone and Hellstromme PPCs have big shoes to fill.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Half-Dozen Heroes: Caladon Falls

This is just a go at showing off some character creation options for the Caladon Falls setting for Savage Suzerain. This is NOT official Savage Mojo material, and is just me acting in my capacity as a blogger and not in any capacity with SM. I hope to continue the Half-Dozen Heroes series, within Savage Suzerain and without, visiting other Savage Worlds settings, and even venturing outside of them.

These are not necessarily meant to be super optimized builds...just examples of the characters you can make. Everything used on these characters was drawn from Savage Worlds Deluxe, Savage Suzerain and Caladon Falls. I will provide overviews, but not full mechanics, because you're just going to have to buy the books for those.

Heroic (3 advances)

Agility d6
Smarts d8
Spirit d8
Strength d6
Vigor d8

Charisma: -2
Pace: 6
Parry: 5
Toughness: 8/7(2)(1)
Pulse: 25

Evil Spirit (Major)
Pacifist (Minor)
Quirk (Never looks people in the eyes, speaks in the past tense) (Minor)

Bearer of Ill Omen
Cool As Ice
Feel My Pain
Information Sponge
Iron Inside
New Power (Armor)
New Power (Divination)

Climb d6
Fighting d6
Investigation d8
Notice d6
Ritual d10
Stealth d6
Streetwise d8
Survival d6
Swim d6

Boost/Lower Trait
The Sight

Forced Manifestation
Spirit Interaction
Weapon of Spirit

Gear: Hardened Leather Armor (+2/+1), short sword (Str+d6)

Notes: I was one of the IndieGoGo backers for Caladon Falls, and I forgot to provide information for my "character" listing on the inside front someone listed a character named after my son, who stalks the streets of Vendol (known for its mausoleums), who speaks to the dead...and sometimes makes them speak back.

He not only uses Divination to accomplish this, but also gets an assist from his Telesma. Angelus just refuses to ever give up, showing inner reserves that push him well beyond his abilities at times. His connection to the spirit world causes him to make seemingly bizarre leaps of logic that generally prove to be correct. His dealings with spirits also cause him to only resort to violence as his last resort, and gives him an unsettling demeanor in which he refuses to look people in the eyes and often speaks of them in the past tense.

Thaered Braik

Agility d6
Smarts d6
Spirit d6
Strength d8
Vigor d8

Charisma: 0
Pace: 6
Parry: 6
Toughness: 6
Pulse: 10

Dragon Kin Recessive (minor)
Overconfident (major)
Poverty (minor)

Dragon Kin
  Chameleon Skin

Climbing d4
Fighting d8
Intimidation d8
Survival d6
Taunt d6
Tracking d6

Gear: Long Sword (str+d8)

Notes: Thaered is a Dragon Kin warrior with vestigial wings who has more guts than brains at times, feeling as though his dragon-based heritage makes him tough enough to handle most any situation.

Declan Ferrath
Seasoned (3 Advances)

Agility d8
Smarts d8
Spirit d6
Strength d6
Vigor d6

Charisma: 0
Pace: 6
Parry: 4
Toughness: 6
Pulse: 15

Standing Orders (Spy)
Wanted (Major) (various treasonous activities)

House Spy

Fighting d4
Investigation d6
Lockpicking d6
Notice d8
Persuasion d6
Stealth d8
Streetwise d6


Gear: Dagger (Str+d4)

Notes: Declan Ferrath is one of those guys that just blends into the crowd, working as an aide in House Killian. However, he is actually a spy for House Vesper and has been directly responsible for a growing number of setbacks...which would put his life in grave danger if they were ever discovered. Savage Worlds doesn't have a "Secret" Hindrance, or I would have used that in place of Wanted, but I wanted to keep everything as "official" as I could.

Earl Alden Mayhew

Agility d6
Smarts d12
Spirit d8
Strength d4
Vigor d4

Charisma: +6
Pace: 6
Parry: 2
Toughness: 4
Pulse: 20

Gone Soft (minor)

House Gift (Vesper - Magpie Mind)
  Improved: Earl
Pure Strain Human
Strong Willed

Intimidation d6
Investigation d6
  Battle d10
Notice d4
Persuasion d6
Streetwise d4
Taunt d8

Psychically Aggressive

Notes: This one was fun. An Earl of House Vesper who is an unfettered genius and a brilliant tactician, but utterly and completely vulnerable in the physical game. His Persuasion is only d6, but has a whopping +7 Charisma due to the influence of his Telesma and his noble lineage.

Darius Langsten
Heroic (2 advances)

Agility d6
Smarts d6
Spirit d10
Strength d8
Vigor d8

Charisma: +1
Pace: 6
Parry: 6
Toughness: 10(3)
Pulse: 25

Optimistic (minor)

Double Defense
Hard to Kill
New Power
Rapid Recharge

Faith d12
Fighting d8
Healing d4
Notice d6
Persuasion d10
Riding d6


Weapon of Destiny
Weapon of Power

Gear: Plate Armor

Notes: Darius is a Crusader in the Swords of Trinity whose faith leaves him the point of annoyance at times. Darius no longer carries a sword since his Telesma activated and began speaking to him, as he now summons his sword from out of nowhere and empowers it with energy from the Telesma to do whatever he needs it to.

Demigod (2 advances)

Agility d10
Smarts d6
Spirit d6
Strength d10
Vigor d10

Charisma: 0
Pace: 6
Parry: 8
Toughness: 8
Pulse: 35

All Thumbs
Homesick (major)
Rebellious Telesma (minor)

Fearsome Presence
First Strike
Flight of the Ascendant
Fury (Mastery)
Killer Instinct
Quick Assessment
Thick Headed
Trait Perfection (Fighting)

Boating d4
Climbing d6
Fighting d12+1
Gambling d4
Intimidation d8
Notice d6
Stealth d6
Survival d6
Swimming d6
Tracking d6

Psychically Aggressive
Telesma Radio
Unbounded Adjustment
Vigorous Spirit

Notes: Gorin hasn't seen it all, but he's seen a LOT. He left Relic a long time ago, and has faced off with some of the worst creatures and villains across the multiverse...and all he really wants is to go home. His Telesma tries to push him forward, to do the will of the Gods, but Gorin is growing angrier at it all the time. Gorin has become an impressive fighting machine, who can rattle his opponents into submission before he shreds them with his claws.

Anyway, a half-dozen heroes for Caladon Falls. Is the series worth continuing? Is there anything I should do differently? Do you have any special requests? Any feedback is appreciated.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tommy's Take on Deadlands Reloaded: The Flood

Pinnacle is obviously a big fan of the Plot Point campaigns, but with Deadlands Reloaded they opted to do multiple PPCs, focusing on The Big Bads that had been looming around since Deadlands the PCs the chance to stuff it in the faces of the guys once deemed "unkillable" in the original Deadlands run. The Flood is the first of those...and the image on the cover gives away the primary antagonist: The Reverend Grimme.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: This review is based off of the hardcover book and not the PDF, though the book is available in both formats. The cover price is $36.99, while the PDF is $19.99. Like all of the Reloaded books, The Flood is gorgeous, and nearly 200 pages of information.

The inside of the book includes a map of The Maze (the remnants of California), complete with notable spots in the PPC. Like many Deadlands books (and Savage Worlds books, especially by Pinnacle), the book is split into Player's and Marshal's sections.

The Player's Section begins with a Tombstone Epitah, moving the Deadlands timeline up to September 1879, noting the Great Rail Wars are picking up steam, that Santa Anna is moving agressive moves towards The Great Maze, and that The Maze is starving out. It's a great primer for the events of the PPC.

This is followed up with about four pages worth of new Edges and Hindrances, starting with new Martial Arts Edges. Many of these already existed in Deadlands Classic but were not carried over to Reloaded until now (like The Cup Runneth Over, which makes your chi VERY noticeable). There is also a sidebar geared at explaining how to use Trappings to fill out some of the "missing" powers (with some advice that I found useful, as one of my players loves playing a Martial Artist). There are a few non Martial Arts Edges (like Captains, for those who operate Maze Runners) and Nose for the Rock (allowing you to "sniff out" Ghost Rock), but the bulk is definitely focused on fleshing out Martial Artists.

The equipment section also adds new martial arts weapons (like the Flying Claw, which the PC mentioned above likes using), as well as a selection of boats and a few oddities like Diving Suits (which can have bursting helmets).

The best part about the Player's Section? It's available as a separate free download. You JUST want the new Edges? Go download them. You want everyone to read the Tombstone Epitaph? Go download the Player's section.

Next...the Marshal's Section. This start's with a look at Famine's Domain: What used to be California. There is some flavor here, including a page full of some of Grimme's favorite "teachings" from the Bible...many of which are Bible verses, many of which are brutal subversions and twisted additions by Grimme. This section also recounts the tale of Reverend Ezekiah Grimme and the horrible monstrosity that now wears his face.

Next are the Setting Rules: First off, stuff is a lot more expensive here. Second of all, no matter what, Famine will be gnawing at their bellies. Some diseases are provided, as well as Ghost Rock Fever. The Maze has hazards like riptides and whirlpools, and rules are included for rockslides, earthquakes, thunderstorms and even blizzards(!).

Strange Locales provides more indepth detail of the regions of The Great Maze, providing Fear Levels and price modifiers for the regions, as well as sidebars pointing out the page numbers for Savage Tales specific to given regions. Random encounter tables are provided to supplement the ones found in the Reloaded book (or Marshal's book, if you have the separate versions), as well a page long sidebar detailing just what happens to the region after the titular Flood wipes out a chunk of the region.

Adventures in the Maze includes modifiers and charts for actually traversing The Maze, including a table featuring the distances from port to port, and also including an Adventure Generator! It isn't just straight die rolls, either...but card draws which provide modifiers, based on both the value of the card and color of it.

The Flood PPC itself runs eight adventures, beginning with a train ride gone wrong and turning into the PCs hooking up with Dr. Darius Hellstromme and the Wasatch railroad as he reasserts himself into The Great Rail Wars. The PPC then takes the PCs into conflict with the Iron Dragon railroad before they witness an ally unleashing horrific devastation. They get to invade Rock Island Prison and also encounter the spirits of Blessed that have been tortured to insanity...before being tasked with finding glyphs that will unleash apocalyptic devastation on The Maze. The PPC lives up to its promise, as the grand finale is a huge battle involving the PCs against the final forces Grimme can muster as he and his Lost Angels try to save their city (and their lives).

A whopping 34 Savage Tales are also included, taking the PCs back to Gomorra, and a conflict with The Whateleys, into an underground pit fit, into battle with the Mexican army, in the middle of political elections, and much, much more.

New monsters include Blood Sharks, Chinese Ogres, Faminites as well as Famine's Servants, including Grimme's 13 Ghouls. The Tombstone Epitaph's Lacey O'Malley, General Santa Anna and whole slew of NPCs both benevolent and malevolent are also included. A sidebar is also included pointing out which creatures from Deadlands Reloaded are appropriate.

The book does also conclude with a full index.

WHAT WORKS: Epic conclusion? Check. Still leaves the setting intact? Check. Righteous butt-kicking of major NPC, entirely at the hands of the PCs? Check. Random Adventure Generator and expanded Martial Arts Edges are just very sweet icing on the cake.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: I'm not really sure what you want. I mean, even if you have no use for the Plot Point Campaign, the entire player's section is free. New mechanics and all. That said, more than a few of the art pieces are recycled, and that does tend to bug some folks.

CONCLUSION: The book blows up Reloaded martial artists, provides 34 new Savage Tales and a plot point campaign that gives players the chance to get right up in the face of one of the Big Bads of the Deadlands setting and be Big Damn Heroes. $35 ain't much for a hardcover these days, and it's a gorgeous book to boot. The first of the Deadlands PPCs sets a high bar for the rest of the series.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tommy's Take on Low Life

As mentioned yesterday, Low Life has a Kickstarter going on...and I've never reviewed the Savage Setting I figured I would rectify that now!

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: First off, I normally review the PDF of products. In this case, I don't own the PDF, just the original printing. This version used the earlier Savage Worlds rules and would require minor conversion to Explorer's/Deluxe. The current PDF was uploaded on April 29, 2011, so I ASSUME it's in line with the current rules, but I can't verify that. PDF price is $19.99, print version is $29.99. A true one-man show, the entire thing was done by Andy Hopp, and the pages are full of material (though there are a lot of illustrations as well).

In a nutshell, Earth (or Mutha Oith) has fallen apart, the humans (or Hoomanrace) is dead, and from there, we launch into epic sword and sworcery adventure. One huge adjustment, right off the bat, is that there are no humans (obviously). Races include Boduls (Beings Of Dubious Lineage - the most populous race), Cremefillians (sentient snack cakes), Croachs (cockroaches, that is), Horcs (aka Snotgoblins), Oofos (the descendants of alien visitors), Piles (of poop), Smelfs (big nosed elf/gnome things), Tizn'ts (who are just weird) and Werms (who are worms).

New skills are added for the new Arcane Backgrounds, and the book adds a ton of new Edges and Hindrances. Hindrances include Armless (like Werms), Inumerate (no concept of numbers) and One Eye. Edges include six new Arcane Backgrounds (Contaminator, Dementialist, Hocus Poker, Holy Roller, Smellcaster and Weirdo) and that's just the beginning. There's also Bouncy Behind (a rubber rump), Say, Aren't You That One Guy? (where you are mistaken for someone cool), Evil Twin (if you die, you get replaced with an identical version of you, with a goatee), Spit (which can get you The Drop on the next round), Boogie Knight (a Horc Knight), Stanimist (follower of the lord of evil), Fish Breath (allows you to breath water...but also makes your breath smell like fish), and truly Legendary Edges like Face Munchin' (allowing you to absorb the memories of the dead) and Gawdliness (in which your cult becomes a religion).

There are a number of major and minor religions, most of which are thinly veiled (some thinner than others) versions of real world religions.

New powers are provided, but more importantly a HUGE list of trappings for EVERY power, seperated by Arcane Background is provided. For instance, Contaminator Armor covers them in trash while Holy Rollers are covered in a glowing religious icon.

The Equipment Chapter's bright points are the vehicles (which include roller skates, as well as weird vehicles that defy description) and weapons (which include a customizable weapons chart so you can build your own and price it properly).

Places around the world include Glowhio (which is radioactive), Keister Island (home of The Keister of Gawd), That One Place With All The Sand and Torsovania. There are random encounter charts provided for each region as well.

The bestiary is huge, but crammed into a few pages, and includes such gems as Brocodiles (yes, part broccholi, part crocodile), Bad Asses (walking carriers of disease), Headstones (big, wandering statues found on Keister Island), Milfs (shape changing seductresses), Spirits of the Danged and The Thing That Might Not Be.

A big chunk of the book (from page 87 to page 134) covers Savage Tales, from Novice through Heroic, with suggested lead-ins, ranks and locations. The whole thing is a pretty epic quest, building up to the search for, and discover of, The Primordial Soup Kitchen. If you run the whole campaign, it should take your group all across Mutha Oith.

The book concludes with standard statblocks for each race, as well as important NPCs in the PPC, and section on just what the PCs can do with the Soup Kitchen if they find it.

WHAT WORKS: It is, by far, the most unique setting I have ever read...for better or for worse. A common complaint about the plot point campaigns is that they tend to wreck the setting...this one really doesn't. Atmosphere is jam packed into the book, with the extensive listings of trappings for the powers as well as one of the most eclectic sets of Edges and Hindrances I've ever seen.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The setting DEFINITELY isn't going to be for everyone. Snot Goblin Pimps are a bit harder to get into, usually, than something more "basic".

CONCLUSION: Andy Hopp's artwork has a bizarre, yet charming feel to it. The book has a lot of things that you just can't re-skin from Savage Worlds, and does a nice job filling in the gaps.  It's definitely the book I would most like to use but am the least likely to ever be able to do so, because I cannot get anyone to take it seriously when I describe it. A shame, really, because I think a lot of fun could be had with it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Quintet of Kickstarters

Time to bring more Kickstarters to your attention. This time, we have five of them, either projects that I am personally interested in, or projects from people that I am terribly fond of.

In alphabetical order..

I like the guys personally...and I love supers gaming...I'm just really not a fan of either Pathfinder or Mutants & Masterminds, so I don't tend to get too excited about too many products by 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming. That said, I would probably be all over something BASH or Savage Worlds related...but I digress (it's my blog, I'm allowed tangents).

Deus Ex Historica is told from the point of view of a time traveling archaeologist, providing heroes and villains stretching from the Golden Age to the Modern Age. It isn't intended to be a setting in and of itself, rather providing heroes and villains that can be used in your Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition setting, whatever it may be. $10 for a PDF or $25 for a PDF/Print bundle are more than fair, especially at approximately 300 pages. Looking at around three weeks to go with about $1500 left to fund it.

HELLAS is a Greek/space epic by Jerry D. Grayson of Godsend Agenda, who is trying to fund a second printing. I've never played HELLAS, but folks whose tastes are similar to mine are sure fans of it. The basic rewards are $15 for the PDF and $50 for the hardcover. At $70, you can score PDFs of the two main supplements to go along with the new printing. With just under two weeks to go, they're still looking at north of $5000 to hit the goal.

Low Life was one of the early Savage Settings and it gets scoffed at quite a bit because of it's low brow humor, but Shane Hensley has always spoken fondly of it being in the Savage Stable. I'm actually planning to review the original Low Life book next, but this Kickstarter is for the first in a new line of supplements designed to expand the Motha Oith setting. The plan, it seems, is that the books will be rules free until the appendix, which will cover Savage Worlds, with other rules systems like Pathfinder covered in free downloads later. The PDF clocks in at the $35 level, with the hardcopy at the $50 level. The $2000 level gets you ever Low Life product that will ever be released, as well as free entry into anything Off the Cob Productions runs. With three weeks to go, this one is at approximately $1500 remaining. Stay tuned for the Low Life review.

This AD&D2e retroclone is the only one on the list that has actually been funded already, and is almost at the first stretch goal (upping the paper quality). AD&D2e was my favorite version of D&D - at all, ever - so a good retroclone is certainly appealing to me. Starter versions of the Player's Guide and DMG are already available as a teaser for the real deal. At $75, you get four copies of the Player's Guide, whether you're just a group pitching in together, or a retailer. The art at the top of the page is the cover image.

Geared specifically at getting girl gamers to play, Witch Girls has been out for a while and done pretty well for itself. This second edition would blow up the setting, taking it from girl Witches (with Wizard options available for boys) to also encompassing Fae, Immortals, Mortals, Shapeshifters and Vampires. The Kickstarter is promising that the one book will be more than enough for most anything you want to do with the game. Key pledges are $20 for the PDF, $50 for the (autographed) physical book or $60 for the bundle. With a month left to go, they are just over $300 away. Download the freebie Star Creation guide for the first edition to see if you like it.

Tommy's Take on Kaiser's Gate

This Kaiser's Gate review is based off of a draft version of the document by Battlefield Press, as the Kickstarter is still ongoing (about two weeks left at this time). (Update: Kaiser's Gate is now available in PDF at DriveThruRPG.)
Not Final Cover

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: As mentioned, the Kickstarter is still ongoing, with PDF buy-in at $10 and print buy-in at $25. The project has long since been funded and they've already unlocked a bonus book of Archetypes (ranked from Novice through Legendary), a soundtrack, an additional digital copy in another format and a Wall Map of Europe with three more stretch goals to go (an anthology, a set of figure flats and a novel). This was originally published  for True20, now revamped for Savage Worlds.

The gist is: After the Tunguska Event, magic was reawoken in the world, dramatically altering the world and the path of World War I. The westernized cultures had a harder time adjustinging, with Ghurka shaman being the only force standing between British colonials in India and certain death, the Native Americans in the US stunning the nation with a dramatic uprising and seizing Arizona and the Taoists overthrowing the Chinese government and launching the nation into anarchy.

Additionally, portals have opened to the Fey kingdoms, each of which has a rough analogue with the Earth region that it mirrors. The Fey Kingdoms number dwarves, elves, dragons and more among their inhabitants.

We get a timeline of the war, starting with Ferdinand's assassination - as in real life - but this time resulting from a brutal magical assault that also wiped out his entire entourage. The timeline runs up through 1920 and the end of the World War, covering everything from the development of French Gryphon riders to Germans joining forces with red dragons to Mexico invading the US and Tesla assuming control of soldiers in Colorado to hold the borders...with a TON of personality profiles for each stage of the war, as well as tons of adventure hooks and seeds for each stage.

From a mechanics standpoint, Kaiser's Gate provides a new Hindrance (Shell Shock) which can be Major or Minor. New Edges include Familiar (as in a Wizard's familiar), and a few new Edges for piloting and riding flying beasts. Races in Kaiser's Gate include Humans, Centaurs (who aided in the Mexican invasion), Dark Elves, Sylvan Elves, Goblins, Lizardfolk, Marhlbenders (sea elves), Orcs and Selkies (human/seal shapeshifters).

For powers, only Psionics and Weird Science carry over from Savage Worlds, with Spellbinding replacing the remaining Backgrounds. You pick a Spellbinding Disciplines and that determines the spells available to you at each rank (Novice, Initiate, Adept and Master), though you must also hew to an obligation as well. For instance, Loki requires a blood sacrifice every full moon. He provides Confusion (Stun with trappings), Disguise (Conceal Arcana with trappings) and Obscure at Novice. Initiate provides Barrier and Invisibility. Adept gives you Dispel and Teleport. Master grants you Puppet and Fear. I counted a whopping 34 Disciplines. The system also ditches Power Points in favor of a target number system (beginning at 4, like most Savage Worlds tasks).

The Equipment section provides extra focus on dogfighting (like using the sun to get The Drop on your opponents, and other maneuvers), while the equipment ranges from the mundane (Colt Revolvers and Luger 9mms) to the odd (Tesla pistols and rifles). Awesomely, the Tommy Gun is well represented. A number of magic items are included, like Zombie Killer Bullets, Amulets of Protection From Bullets, Phantom .45s (pistols that can hurt supernatural creatures) and Divine Longswords made by the Vatican.

A number of NPCs are provided, from basic statblocks for troop types, to named NPCs for the different armies. The bestiary is cool, but a bit lighter than you would expect, although many of the stat blocks one would need would already be present in Savage Worlds. Kaiser's Gate adds golems, Griffins'o'War, Spirit Owls, Sea Dragons and a few more.

WHAT WORKS: I don't really like Power Points, so an alternate magic system is always welcome. I like the wide range of material covered in the timeline, from the beginning of magical crime through the end of World War I. The new Edges (mostly aimed at dogfighting) feel particularly appropriate, given the setting.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: Setting-wise, it feels almost like TOO much has been crammed into one book...but I could also see how one could prefer that to a more limited book. Enterprising GMs can certainly expand from the material given, and if demand is there, Battlefield Press can always expand the setting with supplements. Minor quibble: A lot of earlier Savage Settings had the problem of multiple shared elements, namely zombies and Atlantis, so linking the events of Kaiser's Gate to the Tunguska event immediately took me back to Necessary Evil, which does the same (albeit with a completely different result).

CONCLUSION: First off, it's nice to see something focused on World War I instead of World War II. Second of all, they showed a lot of restraint with the new material added, especially Edges, focusing on expanding aerial dogfighting. The races are included with a caveat of "Humans are the default, the rest must be approved by the GM", and I vastly prefer options to turn on and off over omission in just about every case. There are some d20isms still present, including the racial selection, some of the new spells and the magic item selection. I always like a good bestiary, but a lot of what you need for this is already going to be in Savage Worlds. Lastly, in an odd note, it refers you to the Explorer's Edition over the Deluxe Edition. Very good work here and a great time to jump on, with the Kickstarter still in effect, because of all the bonus material that has already been unlocked.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tommy's Take on Deadlands: Smith & Robards 1880 Catalog

The original Smith & Robard's Catalog for Deadlands Classic was just that: A catalog of cool and freaky inventions available from Smith & Robard's (in universe). This 1880 version updates the company to the Deadlands Reloaded timeline, as well as updating a lot of the inventions and mechanics for Savage Worlds.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Smith & Robards is available in PDF for $14.99 and print for $19.99, clocking in at 144 pages. Boasting Pinnacle's usual production values, the PDF is full color and layered (for easy printing and display).

The opening of the book retells the origins of Smith and Robards, the "good" Mad Scientists of the Deadlands world. With Robard's money and Smith's brains, the two waged war with the biggest "evil" Mad Scientist in the Deadlands world, Dr. Darius Hellstromme...and formed a mail order service that has been providing adventurer's with extra cash for years now. If you haven't played The Flood, and plan on it, this section does spoil the ending of that book.

The "Using The Catalog" section is just that...using the catalog. I mean, from an in-universe perspective. Just be aware that sometimes mishaps can occur (just like mail order in real life!) There are even guidelines for customizing the products you are buying. Your Mad Scientists can even sell inventions to S&R...if you impress both partners. New Malfunction rules, falling a bit closer to the original games', are well as a quick list of "common" items (like steamwagons, acid guns, hat guns, and so on).

The catalog itself takes up the bulk of the book, divided into sections: Conveyances, Vehicle Accessories, Rail Car Accessories, Armor & Clothing, Miscellanea, Labor Savers, Elixers & Tonics, Weapons & Accessories and Travel Essentials.

Conveyances are vehicles, including common modifications (like gatling mounts for your ornithopter). Other cool vehicles include Climbing Spiders and the Perpetual Landship, as well as Deadlands classics (no pun intended) like Maze Runners and Steam Wagons.

Vehicle Accessories include the likes of Clockwork Torpedoes and armored turrets.

Armor & Clothing includes everything from heavy armored dusters to rocket boots to mechanical skeletons and rifle canes.

Miscellanea includes the Epitaph Camera, ghost rock detectors and psychic projectors!

Labor savers include chain saws, clockwork laborers, and a visual scale whose malfunction can be FRIGHTENING.

Elixers & Tonics cover exbalming fluid (a handy weapon against the undead), greased lightning pills and liquid courage (which can make you go berserk if it malfunctions!)

Weapons & Accessories include Ghost Rock tipped armor piercing bullets, martial arts weapons like the flying claw, gatling shotguns, dynamite launchers and even lightning guns!

Travel essentials range from rations to self-cleaning clothes to alarm systems!

From there, the book ventures into the Marshal's section...beginning with game stats for Smith and Robards. A delivery mishap table is included (the item may get banged up in transit...or lost altogether) well as a Research Mishap table for Infernal Devices (like the device getting Gremlins, the Mad Scientist gaining a new dementia, the Mad Scientist becoming haunted by a malevolent spirit or even risking outright possession. Devices can also become flawed, attracting ghosts, causing bad luck or even tempting possession for the user!

The last section is a rules option from Classic that, thus far, had not existed in Reloaded: Steam augmentations! You can get augmentations one of two ways: Take the Scrapper Edge at character creation and start with them, or pay for them the hard way...which can include big mishaps.

Enhancements are broken down by bodypart, with a ton of options.

Arms include basic mechanical arms, piston hands, buzz saws, needles and firearms!

Ears include echo-locators and sound enhancers.

Eyes include microscopic and telescopic lenses.

The Head includes Piston jaws (think Trap Jaw from He-Man) and venomous fangs!

Legs include piston legs, hidden compartments, spring heels and much more.

Finally, Torso enhancements include armor and snorkles.

WHAT WORKS: I love it when awesome stuff from Classic gets updated to Reloaded...and that's what this is. The Scrappers aren't going to be for everybody, but the insane elements of Deadlands are part of what I love about it. Plus the random tables, customization options and so on...and yeah. Good stuff here.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: We've never used a ton of Weird Science devices in our games, but MAN they seem like they would be an almost pointless money pit sometimes.

CONCLUSION: This book really is just an updating of material from Deadlands Classic, bringing it in line with Deadlands Reloaded, but as far as I'm concerned, that's not a bad thing. As more and more Deadlands Classic stuff is brought up, the less people can complain about the alleged "lack of flavor" Reloaded has, and the less work I have to do converting Classic stuff to Reloaded. Thumbs up. MUST HAVE? No...but I'm sure pleased with it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Quantum Sliders: Arabian Nights Released!

Relic, American Grit, Shanghai 2048 and The Garden of Athena were only the beginning...

Introducing the first in the Quantum Sliders adventure series for Savage Suzerain, Arabian Nights!

The prosperity of a desert Sultanate is unraveling!

 The Sultan is dead and the magical island of Karkadann crumbles under a scourge of ruinous djinn. What secrets were lost with the ruler’s passing? Our heroes delve into court intrigue, explore furtive desert hideaways, and travel a plagued land, looking for the answer. What they find won’t be pleasant, and in the end they must choose: defy the Great Spirit of Wishes or make a sacrifice....

In this Savage Worlds* adventure for Heroic rank characters you’ll find all you need to run a great session of Fast! Furious! Fun! It’s set among our Timeline realms, meaning it’s part of real world history, but with magic sprinkled on top!

* A copy of Savage Suzerain is also recommended to get the best out of this book.
- Each adventure is designed to be standalone.
- Though each adventure is standalone, sharp-eyed observers will notice recurring elements and thematic links.
- Quantum Sliders adventures can be linked together, played separately, in numerical order or any order!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Comics You Should Read: 100 Bullets

I'm just going to be up front about this: 100 Bullets is probably my favorite series of all time. If I ever write something half as masterfully put together as 100 Bullets, I will die happy.

Said to be in development by Showtime as a TV series, 100 Bullets is available in 13 volumes and tells a self contained story (originally over 100 individual issues). I actually started reading it in trades just a couple of months before it ended, when issue 100 was solicited in Previews as being the final issue. I knew the basic concept: Agent Graves appears to people with a briefcase filled with a gun, 100 completely untraceable bullets, the identity of the person that had ruined Graves' target's life and irrefutable evidence of that. Then, he would leave it all in their hands.

A very interesting premise, to be sure, but we quickly find out that it's only the tip of the iceberg. Boasting an amazing cast of characters (Agent Graves, Mr. Shepard, Cole Burns, Lono, Wiley Times, Dizzy Cordova, Loop, Milo Garrett, Jack Daw, Megan Dietrich, Benito Medici, Mr. Branch...I could go on) and a plot just grows increasingly layered as it goes.

I'll do a quick breakdown, relatively spoiler free, of the thirteen volumes:

First Shot, Last Call: The beginning of the saga, with two stories told over five issues. While it feels very "episodic", the first bricks for the finale - 100 issues later - are laid in that very first issue. This series WILL take you off guard if you head into it not paying attention.

Split Second Chance: In this volume the supporting cast grows and you start realizing there's a lot more going on here than just a series of rotating stories. Cole Burns, Lono, Mr. Branch...and by the end it becomes apparent that even the first story was important.

Hang Up on the Hang Low: In volume 3 we get introduced to Curtis and Louis Hughes, and get a taste of the trickery Graves is capable of, as he's clearly playing a much larger game that it looks like from the beginning.

A Foregone Tomorrow: Wiley Times and Milo Garrett get properly introduced to the field in this volume, which also includes an intriguing story tying Graves' game to the JFK assassination.

The Counterfifth Detective: The fifth volume is the story of Milo Garrett and probably my favorite single volume of the book. Just a complete hardboiled gritty noir tale if there ever was one in 100 Bullets.

Six Feet Under The Gun: By this point, most of the players are on the field and we start getting shorter stories focusing on different characters. The battle lines are getting hazier here.

Samurai: This volume focuses on a pair of the cast, now in prison, forging an well as Jack's trek across country, with a bizarre stop at a tiger farm.

The Hard Way: A close runner up for best in the series, kicking off with issue 50 (with lays out a lot of the relevant backstory as to just WHO the main characters are and why they are doing what they are doing, dating all the way back to the founding of this country) before launching into a Wiley Times centric tale in New Orleans that is pretty much heart breaking...and ends with the shocking removal of a major player.

Strychnine Lives: The tone of the story shifts here, in the first of the final five volumes. Graves is painted in an increasingly unflattering light and new partnerships are formed as the players try to figure out who is playing who.

Decayed: A colossal brawl between Jack and Lono, the final Minuteman being reactivated, and flashbacks to a young Agent Graves, where we start to really understand his motivation.

Once Upon A Crime: More flashbacks, another stunning death and the endgame begins.

Dirty: One major player starts to go rogue, and the final pieces are set for an epic conclusion in...

Wilt: I was nervous that the finale wouldn't live up to the promise...but MAN did it.

Brian Azzarello crafts a spell-binding tale over 100 issues with twists and turns and laughs and heartache. There are very few characters who appear for more than an issue and are one dimensional...this is a very noir tale, told in shades of grey.

Eduardo Risso's storytelling is a beautiful compliment to the story, conveying so much more - panel to panel - than what the dialogue alone does. For my money, possibly the best combination of art and writing I have ever seen.

Right before I got to the final volume, I reread the whole thing from the beginning...and I've reread it all the way through once, since. I got partway through ANOTHER re-read before I loaned the books to a friend. Thus far, there are only two other series' that I have re-read in anything resembling that manner - Preacher and The Walking Dead. My friend Ronald called it a "dirty, sexy book" and it really is...and one of the finest comic works I have ever read.

VIP Wrestling: Father and Son

Yeah, this was supposed to go up yesterday. It's been a busy month. I'll try to get two more in by the end of the month.

This next set is a father-son tandem...Daedalus and his boy Icarus, a pair of wrestlers from Greek descent. Daedalus is a veteran of the ring who is breaking down, while his son is a reckless high-flyer. They form a tag team for two reasons: Daedalus is attempting to use tag team wrestling to extend his career, and he's doing his best to hone his son into a superstar.

Icarus is a popular daredevil who has some amazing trainwrecks with "Bad Boy" Jimmy Lee, though he rarely comes out on top due to Lee's edge in training and experience. That said, Icarus does know how to utilize his agility well, hitting his Wings of Icarus crucifix out of nowhere, and his breath taking FINAL FLIGHT, a flying body press where he leaps backwards off the top rope and spins in mid air, catching his opponent with a flying bodypress.

Daedalus is an old hand in the ring, who has ran afoul of just about every heel (and then some) in the region. His technical expertise hasn't really rubbed off on his son, though you can see some similarities (like their patented running knee lifts). Daedalus likes to lock on the GRECIAN SLEEPER GRIP - a modified sleeperhold - to put his opponents away, though he has less success with it than he used to.

Name: Icarus
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 199 lbs
Weight Mod: -1
Attitude: Face
Level: 5
Star Power:

Ath: +5
Brw: -1
Flr: +1
Ins: 0
Pow: 0

Athletics +4
 Athletic Moves +5
 Brawling Moves
 Flair Moves
 Power Moves
 Technical Moves
 Specialty Match:
 Tag Team +5
Performance +2
Special Talent

Gimmick Enhancements
Close Call
Feat of Dexterity (2)
Helping Hand
Leverage (Athleticism) (2)
MF: Technical
Potent Strike (Athletic) (1)
Reckless Abandon
Ring Sense (Athletic)
Signature Move
Tag Team Specialist
Training Background
  MF: Athletic
  MF: Flair

Rookie Mistake

Flying Armdrag (Technical): Modifiers: 1d4 damage (+0), moveset (+1), prone self (+1), requires lifting (+1)
Total Modifier: +3

Dropkick (Athletic): 1d6 damage (+0), exertion: 2 Fatigue (+1), knockdown (–1), moveset (+1), prone self (+1), stunning: self if missed (+1)
Total Modifier: +3

Running Kneelift (Athletic): 1d6 damage (-1), knockdown (–1), moveset (+1)
Total Modifier: -1

Signature Move
Wings of Icarus (Crucifix pin/Athletic): 1d4 damage (+0), immediate pin attempt upon lift (-1), prone self (+1), requires lifting (+1), signature move (+2)
Total Modifier: +3

Final Flight (Athletic): 1d6 damage (-1), add Weight Mod to damage (-1), exertion: 2 Fatigue
(+1), Finisher name (+1) immediate pin attempt upon lift (-1), prone self (+1), requires lifting (+1), stunning: self if missed (+1)
Total Modifier: +2

Name: Daedalus
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 226 lbs
Weight Mod: 0
Attitude: Face
Level: 9
Star Power:

Ath: +2
Brw: 0
Flr: +1
Ins: +5
Pow: 0

Athletics +2
 Athletic Moves
 Brawling Moves
 Flair Moves
 Power Moves
 Technical Moves +5
 Roster +5
 Specialty Match:
 Tag Team +5
Language +1
Perception +2
Performance +2
Presence +2
Special Talent

Gimmick Enhancements
Attribute Improvement (3)
Helping Hand (2)
Leverage (Submission)
MF: Flair
Maneuver Training (3)
Mastery (Technical)
Ring Sense (Instinct)
Ring Smart
Ring Strategist
Signature Move
Tag Team Specialist (3)
Training Background
  MF: Athletic
  MF: Technical
Wrestling Savant

Injury Prone

Atomic Drop (Technical): 1d6 damage (-1), exertion: 2 Fatigue (+1), moveset (+1), requires lifting (+1), stunning (-2)
Total Modifier: 0

Belly-To-Back Suplex (Technical): 2d6 damage (–3), moveset (+1), prone self (+1), requires lifting (+1)
Total Modifier: 0

Running Kneelift (Athletic): 1d6 damage (-1), knockdown (–1), moveset (+1)
Total Modifier: -1

Signature Move
Grecian Crab (Technical): 1d6 damage (-1), requires prone target (+1), signature move (+2), submission
Total Modifier: +1

Grecian Sleeper Grip (Technical): 1d6 damage (–1), exertion: 2 Fatigue (+1), finisher name (+1), stunning (-2), submission (-1)
Total Modifier: –3