Tiago Rolim Covid Fund

As I’m writing this, Tiago has passed away due to complications related to Covid.

This does not change the fact that his family still needs your help.

Instead of donations, those willing to contribute are more than welcome to buy this great bundle, available at itch.io:

https://itch.io/b/833/help-tiago-rolim-fight-covid-19

That’s all for today. Stay inside and stay healthy.

The Crusade is ON! Black Templars drop force

As a lot of people, I’ve known Warhammer 40k for a long time, playing PC Games, reading books and lore.

This pandemic got me working from home, with more time in my hands and alas (!), my WH40k army began to form.

Initially I bought a painted Commander Shrike for a fraction of a new one, and began building a Raven Guard list around it.

My brother got involved with the hobby, but after reading Hellsreach, asked if we couldn’t build a Black Templar Crusade. Initially I was against it, but another gamer was selling a lot of unopened stuff that would fit very well with a BT Force.

To speed things up, I hired the services of two local painters: The Lord of Miniatures and War Paint.

Below, the Storm Raven, Captain, Master of Marches and Sword Brethren were painted by TLoM, the rest by me.

The next additions to the Crusade are: two Tac Squads with custom sargeants, one firstborn Chaplain with Power Fist and Thunderfire Cannon.

Also, War Paint is finishing a Terminator Assault Squad, another Terminator Squad and Bolter Inceptors.

The idea behind this is having the Captain riding the Storm Raven with the Sword Brethren and a Chapter Ancient (which will be represented by the Master of Marches), contesting backfield objectives.

The Reivers do actions and earn Victory Points that do not require combat, such as the Recon Sweep Secondary in the RECONNAISSANCE MISSION, or the Repair Teleport Homer Secondary. If needed, they charge the same enemies which are attacked by the Sword Brethren.

The Primaris Lieutenant is working as a Emperor’s Champion, and he walks with the three Intercessor Squads holding the table, countercharging stuff like Daemon Princes, Terminators, Carnifexes and Wraithlords.

Finally, the Landspeeder start in Reserves, showing up to pop wounded vehicles or defending my own backfield against Infiltrators and the like.

Without further ado, the current state of the Titonian Crusade, under Marshall Tito:

Fossil Skeletons – T&T, AFF and Mork Borg conversions

I really like skeletons. A fleshless silent undead, that is resistant to piercing and slashing damage.

I use skeletons in pretty much all campaigns, and relish when people shoot at them in modern campaigns.

Having said that, of the many cool monsters that can be found in the Barrowmaze Megadungeon, the Fossil Skeleton became a must-have addition to my games.

Small twists on existing creatures are a great way to convey information on the setting. The long-limbed dune-strinding elves of Dark Sun, or the hairy goblins of Allansia all tell a history of their environment, and how they adapted to it.

The Fossil Skeleton immediately feels at home in caves old as time itself, embedded in the damp rock. They can even have a chalky smell, or emit scraping noises when they walk.

They are always watching

Because of my love for skeletons, I have statted them for a trio of games I really like.

The original is found in the pages of Barrowmaze, by Greg Gillespie. Looking at the basic Labyrinth Lord Revised Edition skeleton (because I won’t touch Barrowmaze for D&D 5th. ed with a ten-foot pole), we have:

Labyrinth Lord Skeleton (page 95):
Nº Enc.: 3d4 (3d10)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60′ (20′)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 or weapon
Save: F1
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: none
XP: 13

The Fossil Skeleton, as expected, is tougher, harder to hit, but slower. I’ll try to reflect this in the systems we’ll be using.

Barrowmaze Fossil Skeleton:
Nº Enc.: 2d4
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 40′ (10′)
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d8
Save: F2
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: none
XP: 26

For Tunnels and Trolls, I’ll be basing myself upon the excellent Tunnels & Trolls Monstrum Codex, which is part of the Tunnels & Trolls 7.5 by Fiery Dragon, available here and reviewed here.

Tunnels & Trolls Fossil Skeleton
MR: 30-240 (they don’t wield weapons)
Special Abilities: Immune to death magic, poison, cold, charm, sleep, mind control; missile weapons are useless against it; edge weapons do only half damage; blunt weapons do normal damage; Holy Water does 2D6 damage.
STR: 1/2 MR, CON: 30-240, INT 1-6, WIZ 1-8
Armor Hits: 6 (stony bones)

For the Advanced Fighting Fantasy, I’ll use the Out of the Pit book as source for my basic skeleton. My changes will put it between the normal skeleton, and the more formidable skeleton warrior.

Advanced Fighting Fantasy Fossil Skeleton
Skill: 7
Stamina: 6
Habitat: Dungeons, Ruins, Caves.
Number Encountered: 1-3
Type: Undead
Reaction: Hostile
Intelligence: Low.
They are not damaged by arrows, edged weapons deal only 1 point of damage, and crushing weapons do normal damage.

Finally, for Mörk Borg, I thought of using the “Belze – Blood Drenched Skeleton” as a base monster. However, it doesn’t seem to be an undead, so I’ll be “Nodh”, which is a zombie, and use some of the skeletons abilities.

Mörk Borg “Permineralized” – Fossil Skeleton
HP 7
Morale –
Stony Bones -d4
Stony Claw d4
Captured 40s
Crystallized Skull 15s
Attacks on them with piercing and slashing weapons are DR14. Any strike doing 5 or more damage destroys the skeleton completely.


And that’s it for today!

I hope you like skeletons as much as I do, and find these stats above useful.

30% off at Tito RPG Store!

Ladies, gentleman and germs! If you’re on the fence about buying something at my store, now it’s the time.

If you hate my guts and want to bash my stuff, at least buy it goddammit!

If you love me and love the community, buy something and rest assured that whatever you buy, is going back into the gaming gig economy.

Enough talking, jump to the store and enjoy this limited 30% off:

Tito RPG Store!

Enough with cyberpunk, gimme Aeon Flux

Portals to a hidden dimension in a fat man’s gut, sexual stimuli through spinal tapping, cloning, seas of paralizing fluids and robotic consciousness implanted through the bellybutton.

These are just some of the themes of Aeon Flux, the animated series (Note: this post does not concern the Movie with Charlize Theron)

A pastel colored future where two nations are opposed to each other, sometimes divided only by a heavily walled section a city. The aesthetics are inspired by Moebius, but the edges are sharper, and less organic. Peter Chung, the creator, states that his other influences were Herge and Egon Schiele, although I see some sorte of hardcore Modigliani in Aeon’s shape.

Our bare-butt cheeks hero is Aeon Flux, a spy extraordinaire clad in BDSM clothing, jumping about and firing her needle-gun with pinpoint accuracy.

The characters are impossibly thin, but not attractive, and the tension between Aeon and Trevor Goodchild is sexual, intellectual and moral.

All of this is forms a very suitable alternative to the bleak-and-dark cyberpunk that’s so ubiquitous nowadays.

All manner of technological horrors have place in this clean utopia, specially if they bring some form of biological manipulation, which seems to be Trevor’s specialty. However, launching God into space is not outside the range of possibilities, as Episode 1, season 2 shows us.

Aeon Flux as show doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a quality in itself, an antidote to oppressive seriousness of the real world, and the media that aims to emulate it.

The protagonist shaves her armpits and climbs stainless steel walls with the same dexterity, reminding us that our humanity is unavoidable, allowing us to make the choice between sleeping with or enemies or shooting them.

Gamewise, here’s a few informations about the setting to help designing adventures:

1. Means of transportation: we have trains, cars, trucks, helicopters, floating platforms, satellites, aeroplanes and rockets. More than once Trevor uses a pair of Rocket Shoes, and he also has a bubble parachute to avoid falling to death. Space exploration doesn’t seem to be a thing. Apart from the planes, all vehicles look electrical.

2. Weapons: the ubiquitous needle gun seems to be the weapon of choice. It comes in all shapes and sizes, from pistols concealed in cigarette dispensers to tower mounted automatic cannons. It is recoilless, produces very little flash and holds a lot of ammo. Knifes and monofilament machetes are also a thing, and explosives of all kind are available, including rocket launchers.

3. Robots and computers: no humanoid robots. A cyborg made up of several biomechanical animals does make an appearance. It was very strong but slow and clumsy. Automated turrets, cameras and even on-the-spot cirurgies can be done by computer-controlled arms. A robotic conscience, capable of forcing itself through the navel seems to be outlier, albeit a creepy one. There’s no internet, no hacking, and in one episode, a boyfriends demands his cassette tape back!

4. Biotech: very advanced. Trevor is a master on the subject, being able to concoct poisons, serums, cloning and designing new species of people and animals. Specially designed assassins with four arms, winged maidens and killer wasps that seek metallic objects make an appearance. Also, some episodes feature diseases and bacteria capable of killing or causing insanity. Bodymods are commonplace: an associate of Aeon Flux had an extra pair of hands instead of feet, and Aeon herself has capabilities way above everyone else, which may imply some sort of enhancement. Limbs can be reattached or removed without much problem.

Special abilities such as eating delicious pasta while handcuffed

5. Cyber-augmentation: tiny grapnel guns implanted in the tongue, spring loaded shins that allow jumping great distances and spinal column implants set the tone. No injury needs to be permanent unless you are poor, which takes us the next subject.

6. Money: there’s the rich and the poor, people have jobs and buy stuff. No homeless though, as some sort of forced labor programs seem to be in place, at least in one of the cities. Aeon Flux does decline a briefcase full of stacks at one point.

7. Secret organizations: they do exist, sometimes meeting in hiding places, sometimes building huge underground cities, such as the complex in Chronophasia, which harbors a mutant killer baby with psychic powers.

Hi mommy!

8. Geography and timeframe: the year apparently is 7698 AD (very optmistic to think that mankind will last that long!), and Earth has been destroyed by an environmental catastrophe. The remaining 1% of the population lives in two cities – Monica and Bregna – divided by an ultratech “Berlin Wall”. Monica is characterized by rounded buildings, an elite cadre of agents, and a loose anarchistic society that sometimes “requisition” people to perform certain duties (see the episode Isthmus Crypticus, where Aeon demands a translation from her friend Una.) Bregna is a technocratic dictatorship, with distinct classes and a strong standing army/police force. Most of the landscape is urban, with a barren industrial wasteland dividing the cities where the walls do not. In the episodes Chronophasia and End Sinisters, jungles and forests are seen.

I really like Aeon Flux – it is a part of my childhood, because of a very specific situation: MTV’s headquarters was not very far, I could tune into the channel without cable TV. While everyone were watching soap operas, I stayed up at night watching Liquid Television (and thus, scarring my brain for life).

When running AF as a game I wasn’t concerned with rules. Players were given leeway in describing how they would infiltrate and bomb factories, killing goons with very little dice rolls. However, mano-a-mano combats were deadly, as I used my d6 Duels system when Monican infiltrated agents discovered they had been infiltrated themselves by Breen hired guns.

For those who missed it in the 90’s, the DVD box set has everything plus directors commentary, and can be found through Amazon and other webstores.

Best regards,

Tito

Tesouros exóticos – o “Caldeirão de Alcobaça”

Moedas de ouro e pedras preciosas soltas, empilhadas ou guardadas em lenços de veludo.

Estes são alguns dos tesouros mais comuns encontrados em baús enterrados nas ilhas esquecidas, ou selados atrás de paredes falsas em masmorras escuras.

O dinheiro metálico certamente cumpriu seu papel na história, e mercadores judeus fizeram fama negociando diamantes até os dias de hoje – basta ver que no “Distrito do Diamante” na Antuérpia, não se faz negócios aos sábados, e um dos idiomas preferidos para negociação é o iídiche.

Apesar do “metalismo” ter sido uma doutrina econômica concreta, que ditou moda durante alguns séculos, imaginar que as sociedades antigas eram tão “monetizadas” quanto as nossas é um erro.

Comunidades autossuficientes, comércio desestabilizado depois do fim do Império Romano ou a falta de estados fortes que garantissem a qualidade das moedas cunhadas faz com que “uma moeda de ouro” possa não ter o valor que se espera dela. No livro “Viagem ao Volga“, o narrador descreve várias moedas com composições metálicas estranhas, de valor inferior.

Aí que entram os tesouros exóticos, como roupas finas, estandartes, jogos de cutelaria, animais de fino trato e… caldeirões.

No Mosteiro de Alcobaça, em Portugal, havia um grande caldeirão metálico, de alta qualidade e capacidade. Passível de alimentar 293 pessoas, ou até assar 4 bois ao mesmo tempo, era um dos tesouros dos frades, e que acabaria por ser saqueado depois de servi-los por mais de 400 anos.

Itens como este caldeirão são um exemplo de que um conto ou uma aventura de “caça ao tesouro” pode ter como objetivo algo mais interessante que uma arca repleta de moedas douradas.

A própria remoção e transporte de algo tão enorme seria um desafio, abrindo possibilidades narrativas tremendas. Como ele foi roubado? Onde ele poderia estar? E como trazê-lo de volta?

Para quem quiser mais detalhes, abaixo eu deixo um capítulo do livro “No Tempo de Mata-Frades, Visconde de Seabra e Outros“, de Fleming de Oliveira, disponível na íntegra aqui.

Segundo reza a História, na sequência da vitória na Batalha de Aljubarrota, o Mestre de Aviz ofereceu ao Mosteiro de Alcobaça, três caldeiros de cobre, capturados aos castelhanos, além de outros despojos que também ofereceu a Stª Maria de Guimarães. D. João I ofereceu a Stª Maria de Guimarães despojos da Batalha como o Tríptico de prata dourada e esmaltada, que pertenceu ao Rei de Castela e se destinava às suas orações em campanha, doze corpos de apóstolos e outros tantos de anjos todos em prata, um pluvial de brocado a ouro com imagens dos Reis e suas armas, o Pelóte (peça de vestuário antiga, de abas largas e grandes), lança e um cordão em ouro com o comprimento de uma milha. Oliveira Martins, em Vida de Nuno Álvares referindo-se aos despojos da Batalha, escreveu que nenhum encheu de maior alegria D. João I, do que a Bandeira de Castela, verde com um dragão bordado, que Antão Vasques de Almada trazia sobre os ombros e a dançar.

D. João I veio a estabelecer, ao longo do seu reinado, excelentes relações com o Mosteiro de Alcobaça, através de uma convivência estreita com Esmoler-Mor, lugar que pertencia ao seu Abade. Assim aconteceu com o Abade-Esmoler-Mor Frei Estevão de Aguiar, que impôs ao Mosteiro e por isso este foi muito beneficiado.

O Marquês de Fronteira, informa que quando visitou o Mosteiro viu um grande caldeiro, sob a chaminé central da cozinha. Na polémica que se seguiu à pilhagem do Mosteiro, em 1833, faz-se alusão aos caldeiros que lá existiram.

Houve, seguramente, 3 em Alcobaça. Depois de Aljubarrota, os portugueses confiaram à guarda dos Monges de Alcobaça os três enormes caldeiros onde os castelhanos prepararam a alimentação da tropa. De acordo com o cronista Frei Manuel dos Santos no caldeirão maior, quando estava na cozinha do rei de Castela, fazia-se nele comer para 293 criados, os quais, segundo se conclui da grande capacidade da caldeira, não deviam comer pouco.

O troféu exposto no claustro estava acompanhado duma inscrição evocativa das vitórias portuguesas. O terceiro destes utensílios fora transportado pelos monges para uma granja. A última referência feita ao segundo caldeiro, a propósito da sua exposição no claustro, terá tido lugar em 1744. Espantava a estranha corpulência, a ponto de Pinho Leal estimar que nele se podiam assar 4 bois ao mesmo tempo, afirmação tão temerária, como para a chaminé da cozinha. Este pormenor, permite pensar que o monstruoso caldeiro a que se referia o Marquês de Fronteira não era mais que o enorme utensílio dos castelhanos e colocado sob a base da chaminé do calafactório do Mosteiro.

Em Alcobaça existiu durante cerca de 450, o caldeiro conhecido por Caldeirão de Alcobaça, tomado a D. Juan de Castela, por Gonçalo Rodrigues que, por isso, ficou conhecido por Caldeira, o qual foi oferecido ao Mosteiro, pelo Mestre de Aviz para eterna lembrança da vitória de Aljubarrota.

Um dos mais pequenos, foi mandado pelos frades para um lagar de azeite, na Fervença transitando depois, para a posse de D. Francisca Jacinta Pereira.

O outro foi colocado no forno pelos frades mantendo-se na Sala dos Reis. O caldeiro maior, era de fino metal e estava no claustro para ser visto com mais facilidade. Batendo-se-lhe com uma pedra, o som cobria o repique dos sinos da Igreja. Era de tão extraordinária corpulência que, quando servia na cozinha do Rei de Castela, fazia comida, por exemplo o badulaque, guisado de fígado e bofe de vaca, para 293 pessoas. Este caldeiro desapareceu após a fuga dos monges e no saque do Mosteiro. Na pedra, onde estava assente, havia a seguinte inscrição:

hic est ille debes, toto cantatus in orbe quem lusitani, duro, gens áspera bello de castellanis spolium memorabile castris eripuere; cibos hic olim coxerat hosti at nunc est nostritertis sine fine triumph.

Traduzido, para português corrente, significa:

Eis o caldeirão, famoso no mundo inteiro que os lusitanos, povo valente na dura guerra tomaram ao exército castelhano, despojo memorável. Ele servia outrora para fazer a comida do inimigo. Ele é hoje, do nosso triunfo, imperecível testemunho.

O caldeirão de Aljubarrota

Com a derrota, inúmeros castelhanos fugiram, desordenadamente e cheios de pavor. Frei Manuel dos Santos, refere que a peonagem dos Coutos de Alcobaça, mais vizinha do local da batalha e que até ali andava ao largo, à sombra do Mosteiro, soando as primeiras vozes da vitória, foi-se chegando e já desembaraçada do susto deu-se em roubar e matar nos vencidos castelhanos com tal voragem que até as mulheres, ainda que tímidas por natureza, matavam neles aos pares, seguindo exemplo de outra forneira que, segundo a tradição, matou sete castelhanos com a tão decantada pá de fornear. De acordo com o mesmo cronista, D. João I, ficou três dias no campo de batalha, a fim de assegurar a posse, tornando pública e reconhecida a vitória, apropriando-se dela, partindo então em marcha triunfal para Alcobaça, onde chegou a 20 de agosto de 1833.

O povo saiu à estrada, aclamou o vencedor, entregou-se a danças e folias e ao som de ininterruptos Vivas, acompanhou o Rei e seu exército até Alcobaça, onde foram recebidos pela comunidade dos monges. D. João I ordenou que aos de maior nome que morreram em Aljubarrota, se desse sepultura no Claustro do Mosteiro, como uma de tão leais cinzas. Do campo de Aljubarrota foram levados os cadáveres de alguns nobres portugueses, tendo o rei oferecido alguns despojos da Batalha, como se referiu. Entre estes há a destacar (história ou lenda?) a Bíblia de D. Juan de Castela, ao que se diz, pois não se sabe como chegou ao Fundo de Alcobaça. Este manuscrito, o único bíblico românico completo existente em Portugal, terá sido, pelo menos também segundo a lenda oferecido ao Mosteiro de Alcobaça e no princípio lia-se em estilo de Memória: Bíblia ganhada na Batalha de Aljubarrota que el Rey D. João o primeiro da gloriosa memória a qual era do próprio Rey de Castela foy ganhada dentro da sua própria tenda como consta da sua memória que está d’este próprio livro.

Esta Bíblia, consta do Inventário feito por Faria e Melo (Tomo V, pg. 375), que defende que aquela Memória é uma falsificação bastante inábil, por evidente.

O Dr. António Luís de Seabra, tomou posse como Corregedor (Interino) de Alcobaça, com o objetivo de pôr termo ao saque do Mosteiro. O tempo era de exacerbadas paixões e tensões políticas. O País vivia a luta fratricida, nada branda, entre miguelistas e liberais.

O mais provável é que entre a fuga dos monges e a vinda de Seabra, tenha ocorrido o desaparecimento do caldeiro. Segundo Pinho Leal, andou em voga, a seguinte quadra:

No ano de trinta e quatro

Lá se foi o caldeirão!

Só nos ficou por memória,

Um visconde … e a inscrição!

Quando Filipe I visitou Alcobaça, alguns cortesãos, mais servis, aconselharam-no a mandar fundir o caldeiro maior, o qual fazia o comer para 293 criados, de modo a o converter num sino ou peça de artilharia, a fim de extinguir uma das dolorosas memórias dessa batalha, ao que o Rei Castelhano terá respondido que se o caldeirão brada assim tão alto, muito mais bradaria transformado em sino. Por sua vez, M. Vieira Natividade, escreveu que um dos fidalgos espanhóis insistiu junto do Rei para mandar fundir os caldeiros, ao que este respondeu deixai-os estar, porque se assim fazem tanto barulho, em sinos tornar-nos-iam surdos. Deixai-os estar, porque são troféus por onde um verme pode mostrar que pode subjugar um leão. Burgueses de Alcobaça, defenderam em 1869, arrogando-se testemunhas muito credíveis que houve uma caldeira de destillação, que erradamente se tem confundido com o caldeirão tomado aos hespanhoes na batalha d’Aljubarrota. Este existe ainda na Casa dos Reis, aquella foi subtrahida, despedaçada e vendida por indivíduos d’aqui e das povoações vizinhas, parte dos quaes vivem ainda; mas nem João de Deus, nem António Luis de Seabra poderiam evitar, por maior que fosse o seu zelo, estes e outros extravios, que a grandeza do mosteiro e suas dependencias, a variedade dos predios, a multiplicidade d’entradas e o facil acesso a todos elles, tornaram d’uma execução pouco dificil.



Neodogs and Superchimps

The movie doesn’t show, but in the novel “Starship Troopers”, by Robert A. Heinlein, there’s a special corps besides the Mobile Infantry, focused on pairing “Handlers” with “Neodogs”.

This K-9 Corps is composed of soldiers and genetically alterated animals, which are attuned to each other and thus form a very strong bond, which is enhanced by the fact that a Neodog is six-times smarter than a normal dog.

Using dogs in warfare is pretty common. From Roman warhounds, through Medieval times up to the K-9 units in Vietnam and Iraq. There’s a whole Wikipedia entry on that: woof!

Training with a dog must be an exhilarating experience, and the bond Robert Heinlein describes is very much real. As Richard Cunningham describes in his article:

Dogs and their handlers went through three phases of instruction: drill/obedience, aggression and scouting. And although it appeared that the dogs were being instructed, it was the soldiers who were actually being taught. At Okinawa, where I met and trained with Smokey, most of the dogs were veterans being reassigned to new handlers. They knew the drills inside and out, and we did not. Our training instructors seemed to take a perverse pleasure in informing us how dumb we were compared with the dogs.

Every dog responded to both verbal and nonverbal hand commands. They loved to work purely for the approval and praise of their handler and partner. And throughout training that special bond was formed between trooper and dog. I know I felt it with Smokey.

Animals have many advantages over humans, being able to hear and smell better, and having senses attuned to things we can only dream of.

Something similar is explored in the book “Rendezvous with Rama”, by Arthur C. Clarke.

In that novel, certain tasks aboard the vessel are performed by a team of superchimps, which are adapted to living in zero-g conditions.

They are not enhanced animals, but a completely new species created through genetic manipulation, sexless and docile. There’s even a SuperChimp Corporation responsible for creating them.

In the novel, these superchimps do not do much. There’s a crew of them, a handler who is not as smart or specialized as the other crew members, and Captain Norton, who actually says that he’d known men that he could kill before harming his favourite superchimp.

Apart from that, the chimps are used as background to showcase the “free” sexual customs aboard the spacecraft. People are allowed to do as they please, as long they don’t scare the Superchimps. By the way, astronauts are sterilized after entering the service! Check this:

Like every astronaut, Norton had been sterilized when he entered the service. For a man who would spend years in space, radiation-induced mutation was not a risk; it was a certainty.

In RPG’s, an “animal companion” is a very common trope. Be it the unicorn and the virgin, a wizard and his owl, or a ranger and his wolf. These animals provide another angle for developing a character, in the form of something to worry about, but also as a valuable asset with a mind of its own.

Even the dichotomy between machines and animals is often explored. Robots are souless and efficient, but animals, due to a special bond or force of will end up being better.

Except in Warhammer 40k, where the “everything goes” approach includes Cyber Dogs and Cyber Eagles.

Despite all of this, the “Space Ranger” with his animal companion, is something that many of my players forget when rolling characters for Sci-Fi Campaigns. Most of the time the choose to play aliens or humans, and some go the cyborg route, but few elect to play a character with animal help, no matter how bright this animal is.

I hope that after this, more augmented animals appear in your games, as supertechnology can give a whole new meaning to them, allowing communication between handler and animal, greater intelligence and enhanced abilities. This is especially interesting in low-tech campaigns, or hard sci-fi games, where a complete robotic brain might be something not available.

As alegrias do papel

Jogos com miniaturas são caros.

Não importa o que você vai jogar, a não ser que parta para o modo “100% papel”, adquirir (ou imprimir!) as miniaturas, pintar, e depois armazená-las é algo que vai custar.

Mas jogar com miniaturas maneiras num lençol preto com livros e latinhas de refrigerante como terreno não é tão legal.

Pensando que os insumos básicos já são caros, partir para o modelismo com papel (ou “papercraft”) para deixar a mesa mais legal.

Com exceção de dois tanques e das miniaturas, tudo nas fotos abaixo foi feito com papel comum, uma impressora jato de tinta, cartolina e restos de papelão.

Plague Marines avançam sobre o setor industrial do planeta, mas logo encontram seus oponentes
Black Templars se adiantam para encontrar os hereges no combate corpo-a-corpo
Quem sairá vencedor?

Os modelos em 3d foram obtidos gratuitamente neste site:
https://www.genetmodels.com/free-stuff/

E o “chão” foi obtido no site abaixo. Essas lajotas tem a vantagem de serem um padrão “infinito”, você pode imprimir quantos quiser que ao final é possível encaixar de várias formas.
http://www.toposolitario.com/workshop/index.html


Grande abraço,

Tito

The Pimp and the Mule – Iceberg Slim vs. Hari Seldon

This year I made some reading parkour and jumped from “Pimp” to Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy.

In both books the subject of domination makes and appearance: Asimov’s “Mule”, a mind controlling mutant that dresses like a jester, and Iceberg Slim himself, a pimp that manipulates and beats prostitutes into submission.

Asimov was born around 1920’s, and Robert Beck was born on 1918, both living in the USA, albeit in different parts of it: Robert mostly in Chicago, and Isaac Asimov in New York and Boston – all major cities.

But their lives obviously created different writers, who tackled the issue of mental domination from two very different perspectives.

Asimov thought of mutants with wondrous powers, the only thing that might throw-off a plan based upon a science so complex that few could understand, the so-called psychohistory which could predict the movements of whole populations with mathematical precision.

Robert Beck didn’t think about how to control people, he was an active pratictioner. He beat prostitutes with a wire hanger, drugged them, and applied basic psychology to fuel their deepest fears, and thus convince them to keep seeing men for his profit.

While I’m not here to discuss the ethical implications of these acts, reading “Pimp” helped me to put how I write in perspective, after consuming so much Fantasy and SciFi literature over the years.

Most of the time, when I’m writing an adventure or a piece of fiction, it’s easy to explain stuff with magic or technology. Mental controlling rays, friendship spells, fungal brain infections – these are all plausible explanations within the context of a RPG. Asimov and other taught us well, and we continue to apply these lessons, striving to reach a sliver of the great masters of SciFi writing.

But Robert Beck shows us that, in any context, people can be beaten into submission and still love their captors. No special powers are needed, just hate and ruthlessness.

Whitout becoming a pimp myself, that’s the closest I’m gonna get to this kind of behaviour, but next time I write or game, the reminder that mankind is frail and can be broken, will linger on. Maybe the wizard didn’t use his magical scepter on the faithful servant – perhaps it’s something much more mundane.

Pagando para fugir da masmorra

No ano passado eu li “O preço da desonra“, um mangá de estilo histórico de autoria de Hiroshi Hirata e editado no Brasil pela “Pipoca e Nanquim”.

Trata-se de uma série de histórias protagonizadas pelo ronin Hanshiro, um espadachim especializado em cobrar notas promissórias.

No entanto, essas notas são emitidas em situações bem particulares: quando um samurai se vê derrotado e à mercê de seus inimigos, ele pode emitir um documento pelo qual se compromete a pagar um prêmio ao inimigo, se esse poupar a sua vida. Tais documentos – as notas promissórias – são firmadas com sangue, sua negociação quase sempre resulta em grande prejuízo ao emissor, que não se encontra em condições de negociar valores mais baixos.

Aí entra o Hanshiro, que anos depois dessas batalhas vai cobrar as dívidas dos samurais que foram poupados, e que não ficam nada felizes de ver uma dívida tão desonrosa voltando para lhes atormentar.

Com isso eu fiquei pensando: e se os inimigos de uma masmorra aceitassem que aventureiros vencidos pudessem emitir uma promissória dessas para saírem vivos?

Isso implicaria em várias situações interessantes:
a) times de monstros e/ou aventureiros especialistas em cobrar a dívida de aventureiros fujões;

b) um mercado paralelo de notas, que poderiam até figurar em tesouros escondidos na masmorra – a nota emitida por Sir Randolf, que dá ao portador um terço de seu reinado, é um tesouro deveras interessante, e a cobrança é uma aventura por si só;

c) a possibilidade de jogadores não perderem personagens por azar nos dados, porque eles podem emitir a nota e vão para outras aventuras tentar ganhar o dinheiro que algum dia poderá ser cobrado;

d) masmorras com monstros riquíssimos, que além das forças comuns, contratam mercenários para capturar e extorquir os incautos.

Por qualquer um dos motivos acima, a cultura das notas de vida é algo que pretendo incluir nas minhas aventuras.