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Author Topic: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules  (Read 1759 times)

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Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« on: April 22, 2011, 05:13:13 PM »
Hello, folks. 

I was thinking of running a starcraft-themed game here, using the Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) system of rules.  Here's the intro blurb, with application and character creation rules to follow.  Chronologically, this takes place just prior to the start of Starcraft 2.

***

Far out on the fringes of known Dominion space lies the mostly unexplored world of Leviathan VII.  Survey ships have mostly passed this world by until now since it contained little in the way of usable minerals or vespene gas.  However, after small numbers of Zerg were confirmed there recently, a more detailed investigation was launched.  It was highly unusual to see zerg outside of the Char hive cluster these days, so a people took note.  After more careful and detailed scans of the planet, a special energy signature was noticed.  It was highly unusual, though not entirely without precedent these days.  It seemed to come from some kind of Xel-Naga ruins deep underneath the planet's surface.

With this discovery, Dominion archeological teams with support from the military launched a full-blown investigation of the system.  The Leviathan system had a highly irregular sun which intermittently released large blast of radiation, so many figured that the sun was at the end of it's life, and that end was approaching fast.  Perhaps unnaturally so, which hastened the investigation.  No one wanted to be nearby if the sun blew, after all.  Only Leviathan VII was anything like habitable, the other planets were little more than rock.  The ruins were interesting enough to warrant a research base on the planet regardless of the zerg thread.  From all accounts, the zerg weren't moving that much on the surface.  Protoss ships had also been sighted, apparently following the zerg, which was yet another reason to hurry the investigation.  Everybody knew what happened to zerg-infested planets when the protoss were nearby.

The investigation was just starting to get properly underway, when something unthinkable happened:  Some radiation pulse spread from the sun through the entire system, destroying many of the orbiting ships and forcing the rest to crashland on Leviathan VII.  It made no distinction between Terran, Protoss and Zerg either, anything that was moving in the space of Leviathan system was either destroyed or forced to land under bad conditions.  No takeoff had been successful from the planet since.

Now, you only have one goal:  To survive Leviathan VII and find a way off the planet.  You may not have much choice in your allies...  If you wish to survive.

***

Here's the deal:  I'm running the game using PDQ rules, which are free and can be downloaded from Atomic Sock Monkey website under freebies, PDQ core rules.  Here's a direct download link: http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/freebies/di/pdq-core.pdf

Rules are very simple, PDF is only 13 pages. Character creation will use the following guidelines:

Name: Self-explanatory, I should hope.

Race: Terran or Protoss, which you take as Good (+2) Quality.  More on them below.

Profession: What your character does for a living.  Taken as another Good (+2) Quality.  Anything you can think of is okay, as long as it fits with the race.  This covers everything someone in that profession would be familiar with.

Background:  Short description of how your character wound up on Leviathan VII.

Other Qualities: You get 5 Good Quality ranks in addition to the 2 free ones above.  You can take them in whatever combination your desire, all separate or stacked to get better ranks.  You can stack them on race or profession Qualities as well, to get them to higher starting ranks.  You take one weakness at the rank of -2 Poor, like in the example.

Equipment:
What your character generally has with him/her.  In case of weapons, if the weapon is highly specialized or unusually high quality (common rifle/pistol is not) it gets an upshift for damage rolls.

In the case of some professions of Terrans and for all protoss, they may have access to armor.  All protoss are equipped with Plasma Shields, and some Terran military personnel are trained in the use of Powered CMC combat armor.  When wearing armor, all enemy damage is downshifted one rank.

Equipment bonuses, whether on weapon or armor, have no effect on hit chance, only when damage is calculated.
---
A few notes on specific Qualities:

Protoss:
The protoss are an innately psionic race with a highly regimented caste system, which means that the only knowledge that all protoss share is related to their history and culture.  They can generally use all protoss-made technology, but have no universal combat training, thus cannot add this Quality to combat checks unless they are psionic in nature.  However, protoss can add this quality to all psionic-related checks and their total psionic level is calculated by adding race Quality to their Profession Quality, if profession is psionically focused.  This often gives protoss higher psi-indexes than humans.

Terran:
The humans, or Terrans as they are usually called, are a versatile and adaptable lot.  They can often find ingenious solution on various problems, and are generally adept with all Terran technology.  They are also universally fairly hardy, and even the most bookish librarian can clout someone in the head with a book when properly motivated.  Terran can add this Quality to all combat checks.

Psionic (optional):
Only Terrans can take this quality, as all protoss are innately psionic.  This Quality represents above-average Psi-index in the user.  For Terran Ghosts, this is a mandatory Quality.  Characters with this quality can use psionic abilities to gather information or affect other minds, or resist other psionic attempts.  If Psionic Quality is Expert or better, the Character is also Telekinetic, with the ability to affect the physical environment with their abilities.

Infested (optional):
Your character, Terran or Protoss, has had an unfortunate encounter with the Swarm sometime in the past.  The zerg in one way or another left their mark in you, and you carry their genetic taint with you.  You are generally leaner, meaner, faster and just more aggressive.  You can add this Quality to all combat checks.  However, your appearance and disposition makes others of non-zerg disposition to view you with suspicion and disgust.  You take a downshift equal to your rank in this Quality to all social checks involving non-zerg.  The higher the rank of this Quality, the father the zerg infestation has progressed in you, both in physical changes and in mental shift.  At Master (+6) you are more than half zerg, and have trouble holding to a non-zerg thinking process, often prioritizing your more brutal urges and trying to link up with the zerg collective.

***
Sample character: Protoss Zealot

Race: Protoss +4 Expert

Profession: Zealot +6 Master

Qualities:
Exceptional Shields +2 Good
Reflex enhancements +2 Good
Not very suave -2 Poor

Equipment:
Plasma Shields
Psi-Blades

As you can see, this Zealot is a combat machine, specifically for close combat as Zealots use psi-blades in combat.  He has not received additional psionic training beyond his natural talents, as he focuses exclusively on combat.  That also means he isn't of much use outside of it, as his weakness in comversation shows.

For most combat checks, he would have +10 to attack (profession + race for psi-blades) and +10 for defense (profession again, but no race, as he has no psionic defenses.  The remaining +4 come from his speed and above-average shields.)

***

That's all the info for creating characters.  I'm looking for 2 to 6 players for now, if there's any interest or questions, feel free to post.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 01:39:59 PM by LtFox »

Offline Wintercat

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 05:25:33 PM »
This sounds pretty good, promising I should say. Giving a read to the rules and thinking about it, probably a Terran of some sort coming up, not sure if Infested or Psionic, possibly a more 'normal' Terran but just good at something else.

I'd like to ask, "what, no Zerg?" but it seems pretty self evident they're necessary as a foe anyhow already.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 06:14:55 PM »
Can't seem to edit, forgot one detail of character creation:

You take one weakness at the rank of -2 Poor, like in the example.

Winter,

Good to have you.  I don't have Zerg as playable characters simple because it's not feasible to have independent, intelligent zerg going around more or less alone.  The independently intelligent zerg are extremely rare, anyway.  Practically only Cerebrate-class and comparable 'commander' zerg.

That's why the infested-Quality is there, to give players who want it the possibility of adding zerg flavor.

_LF_

Offline Wintercat

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 05:35:38 AM »
Thinking of doing an infected Terran, might need to clear something in the rules first still thoguh. Anyhow, looking forward to it, though wondering if the game would draw more attention on the game announcements later when you are approved if we dont get enough members on the non-adult section.

Either way, looking forward to an interesting game.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 04:05:49 PM »
Well, if I later shift this to the approved game announcements, it only means I don't have to keep it to 'non-adult' level anymore.

I only wonder if the forums have any designated irc channels where one could scout for players, or just general chatter.  As for the rules, if there's anything confusing, just ask.  I'll explain.  The best thing I like about PDQ rules is that they're really not very complicated, yet they're versatile enough for just about any kind of game.

_LF_

Offline Wintercat

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2011, 10:56:00 AM »
Daniel Catseye, Terran (Mostly, at least) Xeno-Researcher

Race: Terran +4 Expert

Profession: Xeno-Researcher +6 Master

Qualities:
Zerg Infested +2 Good
Protoss Crystal-Touched +2 Good
Unstable Mind -2 Poor

Equipment:
Sidearm: Shell-Breaker Revolver
Dissection Knife
Pocket Analysis Tool

***

Background:

Daniel is a young Terran man, with a brilliant scientific mind but one fatal weakness that seems to work against him. He is not one to hate the alien species, but rather a curious personality about them. Xenos are interesting to him, to the point that the higher-ups considered him an asset in studying the alien relics and captive alien specimens. However, he showed empathy towards these, going as far as to supply bits of meat to a caged Xeno at occasions, earning some worried muttering he was not fully loyal to the humanity as a whole. He was observed, but kept close because of his usefulness in deciphering data from what was acquired.

When the mission suffered its greatest disaster, and the ship fell from the orbit, its crashlanding caused Daniel suffered a personal tragedy as well. He was examining two samples brought aboard the ship, one of a highly advanced Zerg lifeform contained within a tank, another containing a damaged crystal which seemed to belong to the Protoss, but unlike any he had been able to examine before. Both of these valuable artefacts were lost in the crash, when their tanks shattered and the crystal shattered, both piercing and killing the Zerg-specimen and piercing Daniel in his chest, his his left leg, and through his right arm.

What scared him most is that when he tried to pull the crystals out, after recovering from the initial shock, the parts in his hands shattered, the rest sinking into the flesh as the skin felt it was boiling. He lost consciousness, disturbed by an odd dream he could not yet make any sense of. What he recalled was a burning heat all around him, and then a shaking that brought him awake again. There was no signs of his wounds, but he knew that it was not natural. Just how unnatural it was only came apparent when he ran his pocket analyser over his own form, and began to develop the first -symptoms-.

Description:

Short, military hair cut keeps the black hair in order, and a white labcoat covers his body. He replaced the tattered one from the crash with a new one, careful to burn the old one with the blood that was crystallizing on its surface. His body was previously rather lithe and almost scrawny, avoiding the mess hall and the grunts due to not wanting to run into trouble. After the incident he has noticed the bodymass is shifting slightly, seeming to be changing him a bit more sturdy, a bit more powerful. Whether this is a good thing or a bad one he isn't sure.

He has noticed a few other symptoms of change in him. His eyes have a slight glow in them, they dont at least yet show up alarmingly, but in the dark he no longer has to use a flashlight to read a book, and that's not something he could pass off as a joke to a collague. His eyes are gaining luminance, a growing light within them. He prefers to wear dark shaded glasses for this reason, but his vision problems have corrected themselves, his eyes are even keener than before.

Daniel has also noticed his fingernails have come off, replaced with what appears to be a bony claw to them. These are as dextrous as his fingertips, and as short as they are now they might pass off a glance from a distance, but closer examination would surely find these as odd. For this reason, he covers them with gloves. He doesn't like shaking hands either, or being touched, given the changes that have started. Long labcoat, and gloves, have helped him keep his state hidden so far.

As the rare survivor on the survey vessel, a rare survivor that didn't have a mountain of steel around them when they fell, he's got a bit of explaining to do about how he came through alive while some scientists are a splatter on the wall after the fall.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2011, 01:52:26 PM »
Thanks, Winter!

Looking good with Daniel.  Seems like he turned out like we discussed.  I'll get a game thread going soon, especially if we get more people.

_LF_

Offline inflatetress

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 04:14:46 PM »
Anya Sommers

Race: Terran +2 Good

Profession: Psionic Investigator (Wrangler) +4 Expert

Qualities:
Psychic +2 Good
Party Girl +2 Good
Beauty +4 Expert


Ditsy -2 Poor

Equipment: Wrangler Energy Shield

Sidearm: Gauss Pistol

***

Background:
Anya grew up a wealthy and privledged daughter of the Dominion elite, her father was a top level miitary official and was loyal to the cause.  Despite her natural psychic abilities, Anya grew up without a care in the world, spending most of her time partying and pursueing material possessions with her father's money.  Eventaully he talked her into working for the Dominion (after threating to cut her off!) and though his connections he secured her a job as a Wrangler, working to hunt down rouge psychics that attempted to escape servitude.  She was called, with other wrangles to Leviathan to investigate what was found and now finds herself stuck.  At first she just thought the planet was boring...bow that adjetive can hardly be used to describe the situation!



Description:
http://g.e-hentai.org/s/6dfee900fc/136726-6


Outfit
http://lingeriessentials.com/viewitem.php?productid=2  <==except in red

Anya also wears a very short length black jacket on it that has a patch identifying her as a Wrangler, and a bair of black mary-janesque shoes on her feet, but clearly they are a little better suited for travel.




« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 04:01:15 PM by inflatetress »

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 04:26:08 PM »
Ah, excellent!

Welcome, infla!  Now that I have two characters, I'm going to open a separate OOC thread for questions and ideas, as well as post the games' starting thread soon.  Look forward to it, and let's have us a good game!

New players are also welcome to submit characters at any time.  In this game, it's easy to jump into the action at any time.

_LF_

Offline Wintercat

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2011, 02:00:21 PM »
Hoping to see more people along, the game is good and just beginning, lots of time to jump in and share the tale, please check the thread and if you got any problems with character Creation, Fox already helped me a great deal to get started, and we ought to be able to help others too now.

Offline Crazy

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 12:19:44 PM »
I have a couple good ideas for characters,  any one of those four marines can easily be written in.

The first idea I had was one of those redneck SSV pilots,  not necessarily a combat oriented unit but those suits are very versatile and repair work can get pretty dangerous.  Obviously,  the order would come to repair the breach in the wall, and once resources are diverted to solving the problem structures could be built.   Usually, it falls on a single SSV to build most of the structures in a base.

Second idea that occured to me is a Firebat.  Those guys are dangerous psychotics,  and given the situation would have a real Riddick feel to the character.  I can imagine lots of tension building especially in a life or death situation, such as buried alive in the archeological dig.  There's easy motivation in the purifying power of fire,  particularly given the present situation.

Even a basic colonial Marine would be an exciting character,  with the power armor and chainguns,  not to mention the stimpacks.  It would be hard not to fall into a Bill Paxton 'Game Over Man' routine,   but if handled correctly,  could be a close up look at military procedure.  I don't know if I can handle all the boot polishing and protocol that comes with an enlisted man.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2011, 04:37:00 PM »
Hi there, Crazy.

If you're still interested, I certainly have spots open in the game.  I was originally looking for 3-6 players, so more would certainly be welcome.  And if you want to play a military type, that's just fine.  Especially since neither of the current player characters are military specialists.  Having more military presence could only help in a survival horror game like this one.

If you want to join in, feel free to run a character concept by me.  After that, it'll be fairly simple to write your character in.  After all, dropships and wreckage are still slowly raining down from decaying orbits around the planet, their engines burnt out by the solar flare.

Also, I'll ask how familiar you are with the Starcraft franchise, I'm guessing some familiarity at least from those ideas.  Won't matter for the game, but it's always easier to fit in if the universe is already familiar.

_LF_

Offline Crazy

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2011, 01:11:12 AM »
I played the first game to death,  the second game didn't have the same appeal to me.  I am very familiar with the lore, as it were, but as a fan of survival horror stories,  I wouldn't be too critical of conventions made for the sake of the story.  The universe is a big place,  and things would be very different from one part of the galaxy to the next. 

More and more I'm liking the Firebat.  It's a shame the suit is so bulky in the new game, that may restrict some of my character's mobility.  There is something to be said for playing a character that has a vehicle intrinsic to the character,  if for instance someone were to play a Valkyrie pilot,  they would be competant on the ground and the action might call for air to air combat,  which is also exciting.

I think what appeals to me about the firebat is that he is a resocialized criminal,  and though they feel confident enough to strap some serious weaponry on him,  they would never truly trust him outside the battlefield.  The situation being what it is,  there is some built-in drama just in the trust issues involved - which is so important to survival roleplaying.

Derek Diedrich

Terran +6 Master

Firebat +4 Expert

Survival +2 Good

Streetwise +2 Good

Resocialized -2 Poor

Weapon  http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Perdition_flamethrower

Armor 

Background  Derek has seen his share of death.  After incarceration for murder,  he was sent to a maximum security prison  where the corrupt guards would put wagers on deadly gladiator duels in the yards.  Forced to kill to survive,  he plotted to escape,  and nearly killed the warden.  After an eternity in solitude,  he was volunteered for resocialization and sent to war along side the colonial marines.  Since then he has seen numerous conflicts both as a Confederate and as a member of the Dominion.  His first generation CMC-660 power armor is a tribute to his longevity,  newer Firebats have no visors and a dual cannon in each hand.  Whereever he can,  he disobeys orders,  and abandoning his post has saved his life on more than one occassion.  He would love nothing more than to abandon his armor,  and leave the endless war behind forever,  but there is nowhere in the galaxy one can escape the grasp of the Dominion.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2011, 04:31:19 AM »
Excellent!

Welcome aboard, Crazy.  I will write Derek into the game very soon.  Expect to see him pop up in my next few posts.

_LF_

Offline Haztur

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Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2011, 04:58:32 AM »
Interesting concept for a game, I hope this character serves well.

Name: Lt. Nat Crow
Race: Human +2 Normal
Profession: Ghost + 4 Expert

Qualities:
Psionic +4 Expert
Stealth +4 Expert
Cannister Rifle +2 Good
Conditioned -2 Poor

Equipment:
Cannister Rifle
Ghost Bodysuit with Cloaking Device
Combat Knife

Background:
Before the incident in Leviatan IV, Lt. Crow lived only to serve the Dominion, either as scout or as assassin, her past was nothing but a blank and not something to ponder. But after the Courage crash she had begun remembering pieced of information about her past, some of them (now accompanied by the memories of her missions) returning as nightmares have taken a toll on her. Still her mind hasn't being able to finally breaking the chains that bind her consciousness, so confused (but never showing it) she works to help her dominion companions and superiors until she is able to get a grip on her own memories.

Description
Lt Crow is a young and athletic woman, her body showing the years of working out and preparing for the hard missions that Ghosts have to endure. She is rather tall and her pale skin contrast with her short black hair, her green eyes spark with intelligence most of the time, but they also speak of something dark.

Offline inflatetress

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2011, 06:20:29 AM »
sadly, i think this game has ended!

Offline Haztur

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  • Lord
  • Seducer
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Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2011, 11:59:01 AM »
gah! snif!  :'(
that is a real shame