Outsiders & Others

MR. LUCKY BAG: Horrors n' Heroes

Fantasy Toy Soldiers -

10/2/2019 Finally completed my set of these guys and just in time because of the prices they are fetching these days.

These came in surprise bags released some time in the 90s or early 2000s.  There are 16 figures based on Greek mythology.  They are about 50mm, and are made of soft plastic.  Only released in Europe as far as I know.  Very rare.  Most people think they were made by Yolanda of Spain, but I do not know for certain.













8 Horrors







8 Heroes






















I found this picture on the net (MXD I think).
This picture is also from MXD I think
This picture is also from some place on the net.
Found this picture on the net a few years ago, I don't remember where.

Grackleflint’s Advanced Guide to Building a Blaster in V&V 3.0 “Mighty Protectors”

The Vigilance Campaign -

This is the second in a series of articles for V&V 3.0 focusing on building character archetypes. I want to reiterate that these guides are for players who are already familiar with V&V 3.0, and that my ideas of how each archetype should play are a mix of what I’ve seen in comics, other TTRPGs, and my own opinions and personal play style. Moving on. The Blaster has been around since the dawn of comics in one form or another—Cyclops of the X-Men (1963), and Black Lightning (1977) are great examples. A Blaster’s role is to deal high damage at medium to long range with a high degree of accuracy. Some useful abilities for the Blaster are: Disintegration Ray, Electrical Bolt, Flame Blast, Heightened Expertise, Laser, Power Blast, Repulsion Blast, Sonic Blast, Special Weapon, Telekinesis, and Vibratory Blast. As for Ability Modifiers, I highly recommend the following: Area Effect, Armor Piercing, Autofire, Activation Power, Focused, Increased Duration, Different Damage Type, and Reduced PR.

When most people think of a primary damage dealer, they think of D&D’s Evocation Wizards, Sorcerers, Rogues, Rangers, and terms like Glass Cannon and DPS come up. In V&V combat flows differently than most TTRPGs—they can be over very quickly, or drag on as the offense of one side struggles vs the defensive powers of the other. With so many Abilities, and so many options in combat it’s hard to pin down a target if they play intelligently, and there are plenty of Defensive Abilities that can mitigate or even shut down incoming damage. So how do we make sure our Blaster is good at her job? While you can’t account for everything, you can at least make sure you’re hitting often, dealing consistent damage, and bypassing some of the more common defenses. Unlike the Tank, we’re going to start with our Offensive options.

The Blaster is concerned with Damage Types more than any other archetype. In V&V there are Full, Sub, and Specific Damage Types. For instance, Energy is a Full Damage Type, while its Sub-Types are broken down into Electromagnetic, Energy Beam, High Temperature, Light, and Radiation, which are broken down even further into Specific types like Electrical Shock and Flames. We’re not too concerned with the Sub and Specific types as much as we are Full, because most Protection will mitigate a Full damage type. The most common types of Protection you will run into are vs. Kinetic and Energy damage. Yes—Armor, Ice Armor, and Force Field offer flat damage reduction across four Full Types, but the most potent Protection Abilities like Invulnerability and Absorption Protection usually focus on one or two. In my experience, the least common type of Protection is Psychic. There just aren’t a lot of Abilities that deal Psychic damage, which is where the most potent Ability Modifier for our Blaster comes into play, and that is Different Damage Type.

If you flip to page 89 of your Mighty Protectors manual, you’ll see Different Damage Type on the top right. It states that “This changes an attack Ability’s damage type. There may be an additional charge depending on whether the new damage type is more (or less) expensive. Notice that there is no point cost for changing the damage type of an Attack Ability among Kinetic, Energy, Bio, or Entropy. However, there is a 5 point cost for changing it to Psychic and a 10 point cost for changing it to Other. That’s because these two damage types are hard to defend against. Let’s start by building our “Primary Nuke.”

Power Blast. Has there ever been a simpler and more iconic V&V Ability? I don’t think so. For the paltry cost of 1 Power you can deal double digit damage. In a game where non-superpowered crooks and criminals have an average of 5 Hit Points, this makes dealing with street crime a breeze. Verses other superpowered individuals, it’s still a potent offensive tool, requiring only a couple of well-placed blasts to take down most opponents. We’ll get into the build later, but just so you know, I’m buying Different Damage Type ‘Psychic’ as my first Ability Modifier.

Now we need to make sure we hit often and stay out of trouble. Normally I would go with Heightened Agility because you get the benefit of increased To Hit, Defense, Power, and Hit Points, but a Blaster should be fighting at a distance. This build really doesn’t need that much Power to function, so I’m going to go with Heightened Expertise and Heightened Defense. These powers in combination make her both accurate and evasive. To help her keep her distance, I’m choosing Flight because it’s useful for staying out of harm’s way, and for getting line of sight to targets that are using hard cover. Lastly, I’m going to invest in some Protection as you never know when a lucky roll will overcome her defenses. Armor is a great choice here, and I’m going to apply some modifiers to make it cheaper. Let’s look at our Ability list:

Power Blast – Modifiers: Different Damage Type ‘Psychic’, Body Part (Eyes)

Heightened Expertise

Heightened Defense

Flight

Armor – Modifiers: Gear, Light Partial Coverage

Our core Abilities are in bold. As a Standard Power Level character, we may spend a maximum of 20 CPs in our four Core Abilities. As always, some weaknesses help round out our character, and refund some points so we’ll have enough to finish our build.

Farsighted – Has only Basic Vision within a range of 5″

Now that all the details have been worked out, let’s meet Farsight! *rimshot*

 I’ve engaged in a little min-maxing, but nothing outside of our theme and nothing too overly powerful. I was able to afford 20 Points in Power Blast and change its damage type to Psychic (5 CPs) by applying the “Body Part” Ability Modifier for a 5 CP refund. This does means that a hit to her eyes could potentially disable her Power Blast, but an attacker would suffer a -6 for the Called Shot. Add this to her Physical Defense of 6 and a Called Shot to her eyes would suffer a total of -12 making it highly unlikely. Farsight can use Flight to stay at maximum range (12″ or 60 feet), nullifying the threat of melee opponents, and making her even harder to hit, while suffering little from the reciprocal Range Difficulty penalty. She even has decent Protection in the form of some light armor that I maximized using the Gear and Light Coverage modifiers. I even shuffled some of the Protection points around to afford her some Psychic Protection as that’s her only real blind spot in terms of defenses. Her Farsighted Weakness is flavorful without handicapping her too badly—she is supposed to stay out of close range after all, plus the wordplay was too good to pass up. ????

Our Blaster is finished! She’s accurate, deals moderate to high damage, she’s very mobile, and hard to hit. There are so many ways to go with this archetype it’s staggering. V&V has no shortage of ranged attack options, mobility powers, and modifiers that help with your damage output.

Grackleflint’s Advanced Guide to Building A Tank in V&V 3.0 “Mighty Protectors”

The Vigilance Campaign -

This is the first of a series of articles for V&V 3.0 focusing on specific archetypal character builds or roles. While V&V has no class roles, that doesn’t stop people from wanting to play Tanks, Healers, DPS, Support, Controllers, Speedsters, etc. This desire might come from the comfort and familiarity that other TTRPGs character classes offer, or it could come from the original inspiration for superhero RPGs themselves—the comic books that introduced us to the genre. No matter where it comes from, it’s worth nurturing because it helps flesh out the identity and motivation of a player’s hero and helps to get them into character. Since it’s not entirely obvious how to mimic all the classic class roles using V&V, I’ll outline some system specific ways we can accomplish our goal.

Enter, the Tank:

When most players think of a Tank, they imagine her being durable—able to take a ton of punishment for her teammates. The problem with TTRPGs is that you will need to force enemies to attack your Tank. If you’re extremely tough, then they will likely turn their attention to softer targets. That’s why every great Tank has a Taunt—an ability that forces enemies to focus on them. In V&V, that ability is Emotion Control.

Emotion Control is a Psychic Save Attack. In V&V terms, this means that targets hit by it get to roll to resist its effects. In TTRPGs this is commonly known as a Save, Saving Throw, or Save Roll. As this will be the ability that defines our Tank build, we need to make sure it hits, and that the target fails their Save. We can do that with other Abilities like Heightened Expertise to gain a bonus To Hit with Emotion Control, and Willpower C) Self-Control which will allow you to Push to impose a greater Save Penalty on your target. Self-Control is also a handy ability in a pinch allowing you to run faster, lift more, and hit harder. Sounds like a great Tank power!

So, we have Emotion Control, Heightened Expertise, and Willpower C) Self-Control. There are many ways to go from here, but now that we have our utility abilities out of the way, we should focus on defensive and offensive abilities. V&V smartly suggest that all characters roll or choose two offensive abilities, two defensive abilities, and two miscellaneous abilities. This makes your hero well rounded—able to deal damage, survive, and perform some other useful tasks. There are dozens of abilities to choose from, but I’m going to narrow it down into three styles of Tanking—the Evasive Tank, Thorn Tank, and The Brick. Let’s start with the Defensive Abilities.

The Evasive Tank aims to avoid being hit. Some useful Abilities for an Evasive Tank are: Glare, Heightened Agility, Heightened Defense, Invulnerability, Non-Corporealness, and Teleportation. The Thorn Tank uses Ability Fields to deal damage back to their attackers when they are hit. Useful Abilities for Thorn Tanks are: Chemical Body, Disintegration Field, Electrical Field, Flame Aura, and Reflection. While the first two types of Tanks can be fun and interactive, I’ll be building The Brick. What can I say, I like the classics. Useful Abilities for The Brick are: Absorption, Armor, Density Change, Durability, Energy, Force Field, Heightened Endurance, Invulnerability, Regeneration, Shield, and Stretching Abilities.

I’m going to go with Armor and Heightened Endurance. Armor provides a flat damage reduction against the most common types of attacks, while Heightened Endurance gives our Hit Points a nice boost while also adding a hefty chunk to our Power score which we’ll need to fuel our Emotion Control, Willpower, Pushing, and to Roll With damage. Now on to our Offensive Abilities. It is very likely that the targets we have goaded into attacking us have some way to attack us from range. Therefore, I’m skipping making a list and I’m going straight for a longtime V&V staple—Power Blast. Its Power cost is low, and it deals respectable damage. Wait. What? You want to punch things? Some useful Close Combat Offensive Abilities for The Brick are: Heightened Expertise, Heightened Attack, Natural Weaponry, Poison, Siphon, and Stretching Abilities. Actually—now that I think of it, Stretching Abilities offers some great utility and defense, while allowing you to punch things at range. Ok—new plan! We’re going with Natural Weaponry and Stretching Abilities, and we’re ditching Armor. This Brick malleable! Let’s look at our creation so far, keeping in mind this is a Standard Power Level hero. That’s 150 CPs (Character Points), eighty of which will go into our Abilities, while the remaining 70 will go into our BCs.

Emotion Control

Heightened Endurance

Heightened Expertise

Natural Weaponry

Stretching Abilities – Elongation, Oozing, Plasticity

Willpower C) Self-Control

I’ve used bold text to indicate which of our Abilities are our Core Abilities. In V&V a new character may have up to four Core Abilities which may start at 10, 20, or 30 CPs for Low, Standard, and High Power Level characters respectively.  The other Abilities must have less than 20 CPs allotted to them. To get some points back, and add some flavor to our hero, we’ll be adding some Weaknesses:

Can’t Feel Pain – “Pain don’t hurt” –Dalton

Compulsion – Our Brick must always challenge the toughest enemy and may not flee.

After some creative use of modifiers and tweaking of numbers and stats, I give you…

THE PLIABLE MAN!

Gaze at his gelatinous glory. To shave some points from his Emotion Control I applied the “Single Emotion” and “Requires Speech” modifiers. I feel like every good Tank should have to shout to get their opponents’ attentions, and he only needs to focus on one emotion, rather than a broad spectrum. After all, he just needs to make enemies focus on himself. As you can see, he has plenty of Power and Hit points, increased accuracy with his Emotion Control and melee attacks, and the ability to punch targets up to 6” (30 feet) away! He has the added utility of being able to ooze through small cracks, and his Plasticity gives him a whopping 9 Kinetic Protection! Finally, his Willpower lets him Push for a -4 to a target’s Save, +4 to his own Saves, +4 damage, x4 Carrying Capacity, or x4 Movement Rate. On the downside, it costs 4 Power, so use it sparingly.

Our Tank is complete. He has a Taunt, he’s extremely durable, and he’s a capable fighter with some added utility. I hope you enjoyed this character build article. Please check back as I will be creating more, specifically: The Blaster, the Controller, the Support, the Speedster, and the Infiltrator.

Charles W. Stewart (1915 - 2001)

Monster Brains -

Charles W. Stewart - The Apparition, 1973The Apparition, 1973

Charles W. Stewart - The Hall of Spiders, 1973The Hall of Spiders, 1973

Charles W. Stewart - The Dark Breakfast, 1973The Dark Breakfast, 1973

Charles W. Stewart - Swelter Rehearsing, 1973Swelter Rehearsing, 1973

Charles W. Stewart - On the Way to the Doctor, 1974On the Way to the Doctor, 1974

Charles W. Stewart - The Flood, 1974The Flood, 1974

Charles W. Stewart - Steerpike at Bay, 1974Steerpike at Bay, 1974

Charles W. Stewart - Titus's Tenth Birthday, 1974.Titus's Tenth Birthday, 1974

Charles W. Stewart - The Skeletons, 1974The Skeletons, 1974

Charles W. Stewart - Frontispiece illustration for Uncle Silas, 1947.Frontispiece illustration for Uncle Silas, 1947.

Charles W. Stewart - Cover from "Ghost Stories And Other Horrid Tales" 1997. Cover from "Ghost Stories And Other Horrid Tales" 1997.

Charles W. Stewart - Illustration from "Ghost Stories And Other Horrid Tales" 1997 Illustration from "Ghost Stories And Other Horrid Tales" 1997

Charles W. Stewart - Haunted #1 (March 1963)Haunted #1 (March 1963)

Most artworks found at The Royal Academy.

Stephen Fabian - Illustrations from William Hope Hodgson's "The Dream of X"

Monster Brains -

Stephen Fabian - The Dream of X - Watcher of the South East, 1977Watcher of the South East

Stephen Fabian - The Dream of X - The Watcher of the North East, 1977The Watcher of the North East

Stephen Fabian - The Dream of X - The North West Watcher, 1977The North West Watcher

Stephen Fabian - The Dream of X - The Light, 1977The Light

Stephen Fabian - The Dream of X - South-West Watcher, 1977South-West Watcher

Stephen Fabian - The Dream of X - The Lesser Redoubt, 1977The Lesser Redoubt


Illustrations for "The Dream of X" written by William Hope Hodgson. The novel was originally released in 1912, these illustrations are from an edition published in 1977.

Artworks originally shared here in 2010.

Most artworks found at the Heritage Auctions site.
There isn't much there but Stephen's website can be found here.

Toy Major skeletons in bright colors

Fantasy Toy Soldiers -

I just found these three guys in an ebay lot from England.  I suspect that they are either bootlegs or a new run for the bags Toy Major sells them in with the pirates.  They seem to be just a little bit smaller than the original figures and the guy with two axes has his head in a slightly different position.  Now that I know they exist I will be obsessing about them until I find more.





EMCE: Nano Force Fallout 76

Fantasy Toy Soldiers -

EMCE has released four more boxed sets for the video game Fallout 76.  The figures include more people, mutants, aliens, robots and zombies.   The quality is excellent.  I wish the other Nano Force offerings like the Aliens v. Marines set were done this well.  There are so many figures in this set now that I am giving it its own post.   You can see the original video game figures post here Video Games.



























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Jeu de guerre de Ornria — Postings from the Ornrian Wars -

1 Freezeuary

Polyesterdelpia Tribune

PROFESSOR BUBBLEBE LOST AT SEA! Monster Sea Reptile Suspected!
          The celebrated Bathyologist and Deep Sea researcher Professor Willis Bumblebee of the Roach Harbor Oceanographic Society has been reported as missing and presumed dead. Along with Galois Galoshglug his partner, the professor explored the deep seas in his famous Benthosphere, recording his adventures in numerous popular books.  His research vessel the Goggle II reports his last transition as
"Observing a large shape like a...oh, oh dear... Gal, I think those are teeth, monstrous huge...uh oh" 
     The expedition's Captain, Whiskerbush McNottlegussy, has stated he made all efforts to recover the spherical diving craft, but the end of it's cable was parted as if cut.  Drag netting produced some animals, even large fish, but the Captain claims nothing large enough to endanger the little globe was caught.  Some crewmen allege large reptile sightings in the area in recent years.
     The Steamer Albatrosaur caught a prodigious 22 foot arthrodire 3 years past in these waters off the Sumatran Coast and Dr. Shrugespy of the Polyesterine Zoological Academy is of the opinion that such a beast could be responsible, though he warns of the dangers of jumping to conclusions.
     Mrs. Bubblebee kindly informed us her husband hoped to find evidence of a monstrous beast of Sumatrian legend, described as a finned serpent of great size, like a giant mosasaur perhaps, 30 foot specimens being common in these waters, and accounted the origin of the natives wild fish tales.  Perhaps the good Professor had his wish?  Unfortunately it seems we'll never know.  The editors wish to add they will be taking a collection to assist Bumblebee's widow meet the somber expenses before her.  Inquire at our office.

Big List of Wuxia/Kung Fu RPGs

The DM from Outremer -

Okay, so for a while now I've been exploring different RPG rules sets for my next campaign. I've always been a fan of the Chinese Wuxia ("kung fu") genre, but assumed the only rules available were the old cheesy "Oriental Adventures" ones for D&D.  But then I discovered the Wuxia Community on Google+ and was introduced to a big new world of rules for this type of storytelling. With some internet searching and big help from the Google+ community I starting building a list of games for Wuxia or other "oriental" play.  This is my current list, in alphabetical order:
  1. Blue Dragon, White Tiger
  2. Dragon Lines
  3. Dragon Tiger Ox (Pathfinder)
  4. Feng Shui/Feng Shui 2
  5. Flying Swordsmen
  6. Heroes of the Jade Oath (Pathfinder)
  7. Hong Kong Action Theatre!
  8. Jade Claw
  9. Kitsunemori Campaign Setting
  10. Kung Fu Adventurers!
  11. Kung Fu Kuma (Pathfinder)
  12. Legends of the Elements (PbtA)
  13. Legends of the Wulin
  14. Mad Monks of Kwantoom (OSR)
  15. Mists of Akuma
  16. Monkey, the Role-Playing Game
  17. Oriental Adventures (AD&D)
  18. Outlaws of the Water Margin
  19. Pagoda: Wuxia Role Playing Game
  20. Peng Lai 
  21. Q•RPG: Katanas & Kung Fu
  22. Qin, The Warring States
  23. Quick20 Asiatic Adventures
  24. Rivers and Lakes
  25. The Dragon Pool
  26. Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade/Tianxia Accelerated (FATE)
  27. Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate
  28. Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade
If you know of any others please comment!

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