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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:36 am

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Hi! I run a school RPG club which, for the last year, has about a dozen players playing two separate games of D&D run by two student GMs. A couple of days ago, I got asked if I could stand in for two of the one-hour sessions to give one GM a break.

So... I have 7 teenage players of D&D and an hour to get their attention, plus another hour to finish what we start. I'd love to introduce them to the Palladium megaverse. BUT I have not played Palladium since 1984 (Fantasy).

I own Fantasy, Rifts, and several others Palladium game books. I was thinking that it'll be best to pre-gen a bunch of characters and set to... But I am a bit short on cool ideas for a fast set-up and play. I am also aware that I get very little time to grab their attention and persuade them that there is more to roleplaying than simply D&D.

Any suggestions?

Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:35 am

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A PVP tournament maybe.....where they are gladiators fighting in a arena. Having them play for 10-15 min for each battle with the losers of the 1st battles healed and going up agenst each other. (so the loser's will still be in a fight the 2nd round.
Keep it simple and use miniatures so they can see what they are doing.
I staff table top games at a few conventions and one of the GMs that runs intro to DND games 2hrs'ish has a core story of they have been "summoned' to do battle in the El Plane of fire for the entertainment of the Jinn and to settle the bloodlust in their veins so the peace is not broken. With each game there are 3 to 8 players, and the monsters he uses gets changed about for each game. Pre-gens all around. Maybe run it as a 2 parter.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:57 am

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Comment: I ******* hate the atmosphere of the conversations here on these forums
pre-gen several characters, half- D-B's, a juicer, psychic, ect, have all the PC's individually wondering around a medium sized independent city when all of a sudden the CS or Simvan invades the city killing all in their path, the PC's are forced to (quickly) ally themselves to one another to fight back and survive.

You'll take my life but I'll take yours too
You'll fire your musket but I'll run you through
So when you're waiting for the next attack
You'd better stand there's no turning back

Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:24 am

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Two hours is a very narrow window. I run a three-hour game every week and when it's a Palladium game we frequently run out of time in the middle of a fight.

To maximize your time, I strongly recommend customizing your pregens to be more narrowly focused than typical Palladium characters. Reduce the skills down to ten or less specific to the character’s role in the group. Pare back the abilities similarly, just two or three things that make the character unique and cool. Palladium characters tend to be overwhelming in the amount of information and options they present. You can easily spend two hours just reviewing character sheets. It will also speed things along to make a few handouts that explain who the characters are and why they're working together. After that, go clichéd. Simple rescue missions, heists, and other clearly defined scenarios that the players can win using the resources at their characters' disposal. You might also consider dropping the combat system entirely. Just ask the players how they defeat the enemy and tell them what resources (half their HP and a quarter of their ammunition) it cost them to do it that way. It's not as tactical, but it can be very creative and it will allow you to move through a story more quickly.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:10 am

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Good luck, first of all. D&D is designed to grab attention with its streamlined play. Palladium on the other hand is a tough nut to crack.

As far as suggestions go, yeah, pregenerate characters and come up with a simple encounter. Thry play d&d so they know fantasy, you can toss in the usual stuff.

What I would do to set it apart is focus on the differences. Dodging and parrying, SDC is like D&D HP, but Palladium HP is like "please no, I'm sensitive there", everyone has different movement. Basically nothing is uniform in Palladium, kind of like real life.

You could also do some classic Palladium wacky stuff and have the loot the old man in the bar wants them to find be his old US Army issue M9, because he's from our world and he's been trapped in PF since the 90s....

...Like most of us. :P

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Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:42 am

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1st I'd poll the players on genre lines based on the Palladium titles you have to make it more attractive and give them a variety:
Fantasy, Post-Apocolyptic Mish Mash (due to the magic, psionics for Rifts), and what ever other tiles you have.

Go with Pre-Gen Characters, since depending on the setting you could lose 1/2-1hr rolling up a character and if you don't have multiple copies... It also means that the adventure will be more in tune w/character abilities presumably.

As for an adventure:
-put them in a building/town/chamber with a problem to solve and a little bit of combat (as it can be a big time eater)
-use Random Encounter tables to start with/adapt if any of the books in your inventory have them
-use a pre-generated adventure module of Palladium's (or other publisher to convert), this might require some adaptation even if it isn't the genre they are looking at (ex use a 1E RT Adventure module for Rifts or PF, either requires making genre specific alterations).

Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:48 pm

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Thanks for the comments so far!

Right now, it seems most sensible to run either Palladium Fantasy or one of the other SDC systems because those will be easier to grasp. Having just got Dead Reign a part of me fancies zombie killing... but it might be more sensible to run Fantasy. The only challenge with Fantasy is making it worth learning Palladium by showcasing the advantages.

My initial idea was to run the free Gladiator game download. I have that ready to go... but it does seems a little bland and, while it does showcase combat, will make the RPG seem like a combat game. Thus, I was thinking of an actual short adventure / scenario with a definite and simple mission. If it was Dead Reign, it might be "get into that house and get the food from the larder" or some such. For Fantasy, it's probably a "Billy's down the well" or "rats in the cellar" type scenario.

Key issues are prepping some pre-gens quickly and still making them interesting... and minimising the learning curve. The kids are relatively smart and willing to learn, so that's one advantage... but they are definitely "action camp" players. Needs a quick start, and good pace of action.

I quite like the idea of Alrik's "find my old US army issue M9" for an interesting spin in Fantasy. I think I'd also try to include some non-usual Fantasy races, such as Wolfen, to try and show some difference with 5e.

Still unsure...

Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:20 am

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Comment: "So gentlemen, are you prepared to open your minds and travel to worlds hitherto undreamed of?"
drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
A PVP tournament maybe.....where they are gladiators fighting in a arena. Having them play for 10-15 min for each battle with the losers of the 1st battles healed and going up agenst each other. (so the loser's will still be in a fight the 2nd round.
Keep it simple and use miniatures so they can see what they are doing.

I was gonna suggest the same thing! Go with this idea....

Rifter 52 Cannibal Magic
Rifter 55 The Ancestral Mystic P.C.C.
Rifter 59 The Lopanic Games adventure "The Lion, the Ditch & the Warlock". Illustrations to this adventure can be found here.
Rifter 71 & 72 Double Issue Ninjas & Superspies adventure "On a Wing & a Prayer"
Rifter 80 Masters Unlimited

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