Scavengers TTRPG

This week I picked up the Scavengers TTRPG from Metal Weave Games. The pdf is available from Drivethrurpg and the print copy is from Amazon’s print on demand service. The print copy is a good print, 142 pages, color interior, the colors pop and the binding is solid. My only quibble is with the covers, the outer edges are the tiniest bit rough, and the covers tend to rise up at that edge. I’ve worked at a print bindery, so I notice these things and it’s unfortunately a problem with Amazon’s printing service. That said I doubt most people would notice.
Note: I haven’t played this, only read through it.
The art in the book is fun, without being funny, and uses the same artist throughout. Travis Hanson’s work captures the mood of the game and I always appreciate it when a game can have a cohesive look.
For the game itself, players take the roles of crew members on a salvage ship that visits the locations of space battles to salvage anything worth credits, survivors included. Unlike most RPGs there is a “win” condition; whoever has the most credits at the end of a campaign wins. This should lend itself to the desired play experience/ character attitude of “anything for a buck”. Rules for the money grubbers include getting payment for assisting others, acquiring loot, and getting the survivors to go with you, which can be an issue.
The setting uses bungee drives, you teleport out to a battlefield then teleport back to your original location. This makes it easy to give new assignments and allows development of an anchor station. The setting has 5 factions in conflict, your crew is Randians who are just out for the sweet sweet lucre.
The rules are light. For characters, 8 crew Positions take the place of classes, spending 16 points across 8 Skills flesh them out, pick a talent from your Position, spend a few credits and you are off. The system is a dice pool, count successes. 5 and 6 bring success. You can Risk It – where you keep successes and 1s, then reroll the remaining dice. If you risk it, all 1s from the roll and reroll gives you danger points. Danger points accumulate and if you lose your last one your luck has run out and you die. You check to clear them when you are back at the station. Rolling a 1 on these checks can result in a permanent loss of a danger point. Losing a danger point permanently gives you an experience point with which to bump up a skill or buy a new talent. Combat is very abstract, using the same type of skill rolls as overcoming other threats.
Game play has the GM rolling dice to determine threats and loot, describing the scenes and roleplaying interactions. The debris field provides random ships and for a more structured encounter you can use scenario ships that the GM designs. Problems and threats prompt die rolling to test your skills.
The game ends based on the accumulation of Danger Points, or when the characters decide to retire.

All in all, I’d call this an excellent beer and pretzels game. I see potential to while away a few hours with friends, maybe have a bit of a plot on the anchor station, maybe some espionage, but mostly shaking down other player characters for credits in exchange for favors.

Shadowrun Music

1st edition Shadowrun

I got into Shadowrun when it first came out back in ’89. The art included numerous references to Stevie Ray Vaughn, and that has colored my campaigns ever since. Music has been a vital part of the setting, along with food. Music and food have been vital parts of the setting; food, music and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.
This was personified, literally, in Stevie, a blues playing, crossroads visiting, city spirit who was the essence of the blues and had no idea he was a spirit. A brief and troubled romance with one of the runners ended badly, as is fitting for a blues man.

The runners have a safe haven – a nightclub called The Downfall. The owner is a free city spirit named Aelaryss, she ensures there is no fighting in the club. An absolute rule that no one alive has ever violated. Aelaryss has a soft spot for runners who take care of those living on the streets. Numerous backrooms are by invitation only and give runners a place to rest when the heat gets turned up. A unique ability I’ve given her is the ability to have The Downfall become lost in the city, anyone she doesn’t want to find the place just can’t find the place.
Aelaryss takes the mic on occasion, her songs, and the mood in the club, are dark cabaret.

Short and built like a brick, Clem is a rigger who runs a body shop in the Barrens. His skin is dark dark black with white hair and beard. He provides mechanic services and wheel work when the runners require it. Clem is a kind soul who “has 38 children” and spends some weekends out of town “working on the dwarven spaceship we are building in the mountains”. In his shop he listens to Delta Blues but when joining on a run Sturgill Simpson is on the stereo.

Sparky, (she hates that name) is a young elven mage and singer. She has done a few runs and formed a close friendship with Clem. He’s the one who nicknamed her Sparky after she cast a lightning spell that didn’t go off so well. Her singing is classically trained and from the heart. For her, the Steinman classic Nowhere Fast sums up the passion in her music.

The Horned Dance are a motorcycle gang of eco-anarchists that work to disrupt the workings of the mega corps. They spend time in a bar on the outskirts of Seattle called the Wylde Hunt where they perform pagan folk music. They are a good source of info on megacorp activities outside of the city.

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