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I love reading people's XCOM saga. I don't have the will nor the time to write mine, but I decided to describe the "cast" of my XCOM adventures, as they were when I last stopped playing.
So in order of appearance:
Col. Juan “Crash” Delago
Country of Origin: ARGENTINA
Status: in psi-testing (10 days):
Crash is XCOM’s senior agent and squad leader of Strike-1. He is a team player, helping his teammates with holo-targeting and suppressing fire.
Sole survivor of the first encounter with the extraterrestrials in Germany, Crash has participated in every single mission and somehow managed to come back uninjured every time, that is, every time except the last EXALT covert operative retrieval mission. His armour took the worst of the blow really, but the doctors insisted that he spends a few days at the infirmary. He watched the two following missions from the monitors back at the headquarters of XCOM and saw that he had trained his crew well. That’s when Dr. Vahlen approached him to become XCOM’s first psi-trained officer…
Col. Shivani “Pixie” Jaiteley
Country of Origin: INDIA
“Pixie” is a dynamic woman part of XCOM’s “original fours”. Her good spirits lifts the squad’s morale and her skills as a combat-medic saved her teammates many times. She and her good friend Juan “Crash” Delago have participated in the most mission, and Pixie seems to be blessed with incredible luck. Plasma bolts seem to fly over her head, and she alone resisted an alien’s attempt to control her mind.
Pixie is everything a good support can be but most importantly, she is the soul and essence of the team. She is everything that XCOM represents. Would she be killed on the battlefield, XCOM would lose much more than a good fighter…
Shaojie “ Chilong” Zhang
Country of Origin: CHINA
Our “friend in low place” Zhang used to be a member of the Chinese triad but he risked everything to bring valuable information to the XCOM project. Ultimately, this led to a tide-turning victory when a battlecruiser appeared over Asia. Skilled with heavy weapons, Zhang has been fighting along us ever since.
It took some times for the team to accept Zhang’s sincere adherence to XCOM but after a few mission, his loyalty was no longer doubted. Zhang shone in every mission in which he participated, always ahead of the squad and drawing fire from enemies. More mobile than Crash and quicker on the trigger, Zhang makes-up for most of the team’s firepower. His role was essential in key missions such as Newfoundland, the assault on the battlecruiser and the invasion of the alien base. Zhang was also among the first soldiers to be deployed when the aliens attacked XCOM’s headquarters. His stand against the berserkers was worthy of an epic opera and will be always remembered as such.
Col. Jessica “Boomer” Barnes
Country of Origin: CANADA
Status: Wounded (6 days):
Boomer is one tough gal. Born in St-John’s Newfoundland Canada, the young rookie Barnes enthusiastically volunteered for a council mission to northern Newfoundland. The horror we witnessed there changed everyone, but it affected Barnes most of all. She spent days in front of Double Down’s locker, the man who died covering her from the Chrissalyds. With the sounds of his shotgun still resonating in her mind, she resolutely took his back-up shotgun and insisted to be on the away team when the alarm rang for a new mission. The squad needed an assault on the field!
Col. Rosa “The Baroness” Garza
Country of Origin: ARGENTINA
An abduction mission brought the XCOM squad to Argentina shortly after the disastrous mission in Newfoundland. Locals put up a good fight as the aliens unknowingly attacked the residence of an Argentinian drug baron. Nevertheless, the local authorities and their unlikely ally were overwhelmed and sent a distress call to XCOM. Alien resistance was minimal when the squad landed and was quickly dealt with.
The drug baron’s wife was our contact upon arrival. After losing her husband and now being exposed to the authorities, she expressed her desire of joining the XCOM team. A quick assessment of her skills showed that she excelled with long rifles and the team was in desperate need of a sniper after the death of Claymore. Thus HQ command agreed to her request.
Her name is Rosa Garza but around here, we simply call her “The Baroness”. She proved to be a most essential asset and played a key role in the defense of XCOM’s headquarters, receiving the Star of Terra medal for her extraordinary contribution. Despite her habit of confirming commands in Spanish, she is a fighter on which the squad can rely.
Maj. Sofia “Vita” Golubeva
Country of Origin: RUSSIA
Sporting a bright pink and blue armor, Vita Sofia is an energetic and athletic soldier, and by far the best runner of the XCOM’s team. Training under Pixie as XCOM’s secondary support, Vita Sofia quickly rose in rank and abilities. The two work exceptionally well as a team and often get deployed together. Whereas Pixie specializes in healing soldiers on the field, Vita often acts as a scout and spotter for The Baroness. Needless to say, we owed much of our MELD collection to her.
Vita Sofia played an essential role during the alien attack on XCOM’s base. As things were looking desperate, she managed to hack her way into the map-room and save the squad with a well-timed smoke grenade. Flanked by cyberdisks and muton berserkers, the team would not have survived the assault if it wasn’t for her timely intervention. In private, Crash believes that Vita should have been awarded the Star of Terra. The Baroness surely contributed more to the fight, but Vita’s intervention was the turning point to victory.
Col. Emma “Arcade” Schwartz
Class: HEAVY, GENETICALLY MODIFIED
Country of Origin: GERMANY
“Arcade” is a recent addition to the XCOM’s team but she is showing great skills with her heavy plasma gun. Her lightning-fast reactions makes her a good bodyguard for The Baroness; she disabled many threats while our sniper was getting in position.
While she is a good team-player on the battlefield, Arcade is a bit of a loner back at the base, preferring video games to real combat simulations, while listening to ‘90s techno music. Perhaps these interests prompted her to volunteer for Dr. Vahlen’s MELD mutation program. You should look at her jump!
Her bright pink hair and personalized armor distinguishes her as an artist and a bit of an anti-conformist. When Crash confiscated her xBox, she spray-painted her whole room at the barracks. If you ever see a “XCOM was here” graffiti on a burnt wall, you’ll know that Arcade was there.
Maj. Polina “Ice” Semyenova
Country of Origin: RUSSIA
“Ice” got her nickname from her cool nerves. Although she is trained as a sniper, she is not afraid to get into tight corners. Her ability to shoot from the hip with her rifle allows her to advance with the rest of the team and while she is a decent sniper, pistols are really “her thing”. She is always the one pushing for new pistol technologies and upgrade.
Polina is also a quite capable hacker. With her nerves of steel, knack with guns and computer skills, Polina is an ideal candidate for covert operation. She has so far infiltrated four EXALT cells. Now if only HQ command could figure out where they are hiding with all the information she is bringing back every time…
Cpt. Daniel “Claymore” Matthews
Country of Origin: SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM.
Daniel “Claymore” Matthews was also part of the original four-man team of XCOM. He was a quiet and calm man, always very polite and respectful of his colleagues. His teammates used to say that he wasn’t a true Scott!
A series of bad decision from HQ command spelled his death. The team deployed in the wrong direction and allowed it to be flanked. As Claymore was gaining height on a train cart, an ill-chosen route from Double Down attracted the attention of a pair of mutons who attacked from behind. Claymore was taken as target and killed on the spot. Their death left XCOM without a sniper for a series of mission, which proved to be disastrous in Newfoundland.
From that point on, every member of XCOM would wear carapace armor regardless of their role and position, no matter how much these armors cost.
Cpt. Paul “Double Down” Johnson
Country of Origin: USA
Paul Johnson was part of the original four-man-squad as XCOM’s assault squaddie. His boldness and his speed on the battlefield quickly gave him the nickname of “Double Down” and the rank of major. He spent half his days on the battlefield and the other half in the infirmary, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Double Down felt responsible for the death of Daniel “Claymore” Matthews when his recklessness attracted the attention of a pair of mutons. Taking the squad by surprise, they shot the sniper before they were shot themselves.
The following mission brought the team to Newfoundland Canada. Never forgiving himself for the death of his teammate, he took upon himself to protect young rookie Barnes who was asked to re-activate the ship’s transponder. He and Tombstone did the best they could, but Johnson never made it out of the ship. Double Down died covering Barnes out of the ship’s cabin, but at least he was redeemed and his soul now rests in peace.
Lt. Javier “Tombstone” Moreno
Country of Origin: MEXICO
Javier “Tombstone” Moreno was the first rookies to be promoted after the “original four”. He stayed with the team for most of the winter and kept-up with Double Down. The two worked best in pair, flanking opponents and protecting each other with their close-combat skills.
Tombstone was killed in action during the Newfoundland mission. He and Double Down were charged to protect the (then) rookie Barnes from the cryssalids emerging onto the deck of the whaler ship. Unlike his brother in arms, he escaped the ship and made it almost all the way to extraction. His way was cut by a pair of cryssalids freshly born from shark carcasses. “GO!” he screamed as he entered a building. All we saw is the cryssalids blocking every exit before we boarded the skyranger. We heard a few shotgun shots, and the skyranger took off just before the airstrike. We can only hope that the blast killed him before the cryssalids.
Freehold DM wrote:
Things started to look really grim. I was flanked from both sides in the map room, with three cyberdisks and their drones on one side and berserkers on the other. My heavy just barely survived the berserker's assault, and the rest got bombarded by cyberdisks' grenades, wounding most of my soldiers and killing one of the base staff member. Then a door opens, and I'm thinking "alright, this is the end"...
But it wasn't an enemy, it was my best healer support coming as reinforcement! Her combat drug smoke grenade shielded my troops just long enough to wipe the cyberdisks and berserkers without further casualties.
The rest of the fight wasn't exactly a walk in the park, with some of my troops mind-controlled and my over-confident assault basically melee-ing with mechtoids, but nothing as nerve-racking as the map-room fight. While the infirmary will be crowded for a while, that X-COM base guard was the only casualty. What a fun mission!
Aaaaah, the aliens are invading my base! MY BASE!
And I only have three of my guys, plus two xcom guards with basic rifles. S*%&, there are mutons all over the freaking place, and chryssalids too. Not sure how we're supposed to get out of this one!!!
 ok, got reinforcement, major Barnes to the rescue with two more troopers!
I too don't really buy the "you-will-kill-yourself-if-you-aren't-force-sensitive" about lightsabers (although I can accept that only a trained, force-sensitive person can manufacture one). I can also accept that you need near-clairvoyant reflexes to deflect blaster bolts
They are probably stupid rare, stupid expensive and well, rather flashy in a non-desirable attract-inquisitors'-attention way. That's enough for me to explain why people don't carry lightsabers.
In all seriousness, I think the intent is that the more beat-up and weary the character is, the more susceptible to have his mind hammered by an enchantment spell he is.
...except other enchantment spells do not work that way...
This for me was the greatest disconnect between D&D (AD&D, D&D, Pathfinder etc) and the fantasy worlds as I imagined them. I've since made peace with hit points, but the lack of quick recovery and injuries bothered me for a long time.
no but the combo plate/shield + dodge action + spirit guardian + spiritual weapon is just as interesting. It makes for pretty consistent damage while keeping the cleric quite safe and unlikely to lose concentration. You pretty much have to hit him with AoE otherwise your orcs and goblins are toasted.
I've rarely seen our cleric concentrate on anything but bless or guardian spirits.
I'm far from having the computer that can support a game like X-COM 2, and I don't think we'll upgrade our XBOX 360 for ONE just yet, so I guess I'll have to enjoy Enemy Unknown/Within for a while.
In the meantime Major Jessica "Boomer" Barnes is rocking her new scatter-laser shotgun. T'was about time too, cyberdiscs are starting to appear on the battlefield...
nerco-ing this tread because I got the game for my son this Christmas. Had a day off today and tried the game myself. Having played a bit of the original game and Terror from the Deep, I was treading on familiar grounds...
Game started good, a bit of save-cheatging but not overly so. I was about to loose North America when a well timed terror mission allowed me to keep panic under control. New satellites where their way, things where good...
Then a pair of mutons appeared behind my squad when my assault revealed their location while dashing. Crap. Overwatch failed to connect, and two lucky crits take both my snipers out dead-cold. No time to mourn, show must go on.
Then I get a council mission to Newfoundland Canada. If you played it you probably know which one I mean. Some of my best friends are from Newfoundland, so of course I accept. I even take Canadian rookie Barnes (who I decided was a Newfie) with us on the field for our first mission without sniper back-up.
wow, I was in for a ride worthy of Aliens/chryssalids extravaganza! I had never encountered more than two (on that Terror mission), and now they are spawning at a rate of 1-3 per round! And I have to cross their nest AND make it back to evac ?!? With more of them bursting out of sharks all over the place when I'm racing back ?!? Damned, lost two more experienced soldiers that day, my two assaults, and I considered myself lucky I didn't lose more. Barnes made it back however, but I fear she will never be the same...
Now i'm out of snipers AND assaults... oh wait! Barnes has taken "Double Down"'s fallen shotgun and filled-in the role!
Hi! I really hate characters rolling on random tables. Is there any alternative to rolling on the 5th Edition Sorcerer's Wild Magic Surge chart?
There are a few ways to address this, but the simplest is to have a binary worst/better effect on the spell, some thing like this
On a magic surge, roll 2d10 of different colour. Elect one colour as bonus die, the other as malus die. If the bonus die has a greater result, then the spell is bonified by [result] damage, or rounds, or targets, etc. If the malus die has a greater result, then the spell is reduced by [result] damage, rounds, targets etc.
Another would be to print a bunch of effects of blank business cards. Call it your wild surge deck.
You could also photocopy the page and give it to the player
My random encounter table is more like a "random event" table with only about half the possible outcomes involving a fight with a monster.
Typically, a skill check of some sort can eliminate or mitigate the effects, but results range from "getting lost" to "spoiled rations" or "interrupted rest" to "exhaustion".
The monster encounter part is typically divided in animals and other monsters with animal intelligence, intelligent monsters, humanoids (including giants), undead etc.
The exact nature of the adversary if left intentionally ambiguous; I choose the monsters based on the region and strength of the players. I"m not against going above the players' CR (sometimes flight and survival is "winning" the encounter), but I eliminate challenges that the party can easily defeat without investing lots of resources.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
interesting from a narrative standpoint however...
bah, since we're necro-threading...
Vancian magic is a combination of three things
1) Magic is packaged as "spells" with relatively narrow usage. i.e. you can't downgrade your fireball to light your cigarette, or spread it in a wall-like linear fashion. There are other spells for that.
2) It is possible for a magic-user to "run out of magic". It's not an at-will skill like magic in Harry Potter.
3) Casting a spell is impractical; you've got to pre-cast it in order to trigger it with a few words latter on. Thus a magic-user memorizes spells like a gunslinger loads bullets in a revolver.
3rd ed D&D and Pathfinder (and 5e even more) already took distance with Vancian magic with sorcerers (who do not have to memorize/prepare spells), metamagic (which broadens the effect of a single spell) and at-will cantrips (meaning that a magic-user will never run out of magic).
Some people have issues with spell slots, which is a spell-point system really, while most agree that the three main points are viable concepts from a gameplay/balance perspective.
I love Tolkien-style pseudo-europeano-centric games. I also love anime fantasy games. What I don't like is awkward clash of genres within a game.
I prefer games with strong (and relatively narrow) themes. Mostly, I enjoy games centered on the characters. If a DM is skilled enough to make multiple genres mix without the wonky awkwardness, there are no limits to what the characters can be (and where their inspiration come from).
tangent about Star Wars RPG:
I play two games, one with my kids and one with my adult friends.
We do narrate our rolls in the adult game. After a few games, it becomes natural and doesn't slow the game down. On the contrary, it gives it a nice flow. A "story" doesn't have to be invented for each rolls; usually it's only a matter how you get fatigued or recover...
In the games with the kids, I as the GM narrate what needs to be narrated and just figuring out the results and after-results. It's faster and less "fussy". I guess games can be played either way without losing on the game.
In regards to Rey and lightsaber
Her lack of mastery shows, especially earlier in the combat. She often tries to poke with the lightsaber, only to be easily deflected by Kilo Ren. She looses ground to an already wounded adversary and seem to be trying several ways to get around him. We know she is a good fighter, Kilo Ren is handicapped by his wound (from a weapon that otherwise blows three stormtroopers in one shot) and well, the force needs to awake at one point I guess.
Original system using custom dice (with no numbers). Chris Mortika's link has it all.
TL:DR version: You build a dice pool according to your Abilities (stats) and skill. You declare your intended action, roll the dice then narrate how you succeeded or failed based on the result. Unlike most RPGs, the outcome is not binary. You can succeed but with a threat (something bad), fail but with advantage, succeed the roll with a despair (which typically trigger an opponent or environmental reaction etc. Its a very narrative game.
Chris Mortika wrote:
It's the same game packaged in different themes
All use the exact same rules and character creation toolkit, but with different careers and specializations each introducing slightly different abilities. The main difference is the obligation/duty/morality concepts (which should be seen as "flaws" for the characters, but rather opportunity to tie in with the story)
obligation (used in Edge of the Empire) is your relation with the galaxy's underworld (with great ships comes great debts)
duty (used in Age of Rebellion) is your relation with the rebellion (with great ranking comes great responsibilities)
morality (used in Force and Destiny) is your relation toward good and evil (with great powers comes great moral conflict)
The games are completely compatible, but you don't have to buy the two other books. About 80% is repetition of the same rules and guidelines. The remaining 20% is mainly about careers and specs, a few ships and equipment, a few adversaries and background information.
Force and Destiny introduces Jedi-like careers and specs, combine the force powers introduced in Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion plus a few more. I've heard quite a few people (including myself) purchasing F&D in addition to either EotE or AoR.
Our present game has two F&D character and one EotE in a cat-and-mouse game between us, gangsters and imperial inquisitors.
Petty Alchemy wrote:
No, it was a fire-theme, Kung-fu wuxia elemental monk/pack of the fiend bladelock (refluffed as devotion to his ancestors). It would burn through its resources (ki points and warlock spell slots) in 4-5 rounds, but refresh it all on a short rest.
It was a three character party with a fighter/rogue (feint-sneak attack combo) and a diviner wizard, not very blasty but full of resources and buffs. We were heavy hitters but relatively low AC and average hit points at best. We worked best when concentrating our firepower on one opponent and make it a short combat.
I played a multiclassed monk/warlock from level 8th to 16th; then got fast forwarded to level 20th. The multiclass combo started to really synergize around 10th-11th, and if I remember well, that's when most other characters started to have abilities that really stood out from one another.
Damage output goes up fast, but so are the hp of enemies. Interestingly enough, we had a harder time against numerous weaker opponents than single, more powerful bosses.
Non-white jungle quaggoth sounds cool to me. To stay closer to the underdark concept, they could inhabit the darkest jungles where light barely reaches the forest floor even during daytime.
Or your world could have a vast but shallow network of caves for them to inhabit, not unlike the caves of the Yucatan peninsula (kind of a proto-underdark).
Petty Alchemy wrote:
Most of the paladin's slots will be spent on smites, same as most of the cleric's concentration will be dedicated to bless, but both have a lot of options when uncommon situations come around. The ranger doesn't really have those options because his spell selection is the narrowest in the game and at least one of it's "core ability" eats-up one of its few known spells. The paladin would be in the same situation if it knew only three spells at level 2, one of which had to be the basic smite feature disguised as a spell.
I'm ok with some spells being better / cast more frequently than others (and I include smites as "spells"), but it's nice to have options for less frequent situations. Prepared casters have more options, especially druids/clerics/paladins who know all their spells. I find it too bad that the ranger who is supposed to be a resourceful character, and who was made a half caster, ends-up with so little spells in his repertoire, that's all.
Petty Alchemy wrote:
On the other hand, I'm fine with the ranger not being able to go for situational spells, since they're not primary spellcasters
No, but neither is the paladin and he is much more versatile thanks to prepared casting. Heck, even the eldritch knight has more spell known and that's 1/3 caster.
I like the fact that spells aren't all equal, at least it doesn't bother me for prepared casters. It certainly doesn't bother me that bless is that useful for clerics, because that's what priests do. Same with shield for wizards. Some apps you put on the first page of your iphone because you use them all the time. Some get less priority but are as useful in the right situation.
The only spell list where the unevenness anoys me more is for the ranger who has so precious few spells known that one simply cannot afford to take the more situational spells. I wish more of its spells were baked in the class itself (as for natural awareness), leaving more choice of spells as, well, a choice.
I'm getting close to 40, role play is pretty much my only not-work, not-family related activity. Coming back after a burn out, this game plays a big part in my wellbeing and mental health in general. As far as I'm concerned, missing a game is a punishment in its own.
But dipping into 5 classes is more interesting and gets you there faster than even a fighter who takes skilled every time he can.
that makes for a rather convoluted character concept (and in some people opinion, a rather unoptimized one). Great if your character concept gets you there, but twisting your concept to fit all classes just for skills is a bit much IMO.
I like unexpected sequels because it forces the film makers to ponder on the consequences of the previous movie. How is humanity now that it has alien tech, knows about alien existence (and threat), that nations had to work together to overcome these invaders. How did the world cope with the destruction of every capital city and the inevitable wastelands?
There's matter for an excellent film with that alone. Unfortunately, this will probably be hand-waved for more explosions and destruction...
I'm trying to come up with a time domain for clerics for my homebrew setting but I don't understand the balance of 5e enough yet to make informed decisions.
a few ideas out of order:
1st level ability to reroll initiative once per combat
channel divinity to gain extra reactions (not sure how useful that would be)
channel divinity to take some actions as bonus actions
some kind of misty step divine strike
afb at the moment, but is there a time stop spell in 5e? You could do a similar 17th level ability (not as powerful in 5e due to concentration mechanics)
Will the fanfare play now that Disney owns the franchise?
It will be refreshed each session, and then fluctuate throughout that session.
Basically you're giving lucky for free (well, not quite since you can't make an opponent reroll with inspiration).
It might be a bit much once the proficiency bonus gets to 4+ if it replenishes in whole every session. I would suggest either a slower refresh or a lower threshold.
Alternatively, you could allow players to accumulate inspiration up to their prof. bonus if you're handing out inspiration generously.
Could you give an example of knack?