3rd Party Show Case: Highlander The Gathering.

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , ,

From the Dawn of Time we came, moving silently down through the centuries. Living many secret lives. Struggling to reach the Time of the Gathering, when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you... until now.
-Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez

For younger readers Highlander was a film released in 1986 directed by Russell Mulcahy and based on a story by Gregory Widen, the film depicts the climax of an ages-old battle between immortal warriors depicted through interwoven past and present day storylines. If you've not seen it I would really recommend it for a fun evening though I would stay away from the numerous terrible sequels (so bad that one was edited to remove scenes and another said to be just a dream of the main character by the director.)

This 3rd party show case focuses on what can be considered one of the best and most successful net.supplements produced for White Wolf's World of Darkness.
Highlander: The Gathering, often referred to as H:TG, is a net.supplement which incorporates Highlander-style Immortals into White Wolf's World of Darkness. It was first released by Hank Driskill in September 1993, and a Second Edition, developed by John Gavigan in conjunction with Hank, was published in June 1994.

The second edition version of the rules are available here with additional content here (edit: As of July 2014 additional content is missing, currently looking for backups elsewhere) and a recent revised 3rd edition pdf and character sheets courtesy of Mr Gone.
Between the two systems there are not many large changes except in how immortals are treated by the more common residents of World of Darkness for example: in the second edition vampires cannot gain substance from immortal blood and it is in fact detrimental to them, while in the revised rules immortals are susceptible to been blood bound by vampires and can be fed upon but as soon as they are drained or “killed” those bonds are broken without the knowledge of the vampire.  

The rules are relatively simple with the most complex been the addition of the quickening rule set which handles the absorption of powers when an immortal is slain and the revised pdf is well written with the exception of the occasional typo. I believe that most importantly they are true to the source material, Immortals abilities could be considered rather weak compared to vampires or werewolves however their natural resistance and general difficulty to keep dead makes up for this.

I think the biggest difficulty in using this net.supplement is the premise itself, a group of players all playing immortals would have to accept there is a good chance that they may have to kill one another’s characters especially if a “Gathering” occurs. A “Gathering” is an event after which a powerful immortal is killed during which immortals are drawn to the location from miles around even in rare occurrences across countries and then are compelled to take part in fierce battles until only one remains. Obviously many players dislike it when their characters are killed regardless of the circumstance and it could cause a significant amount of player tension.  

The other option could be there is only one player as the immortal and the rest of the players are mortal or supernatural allies but again this heavily focuses the plot on a single character and may cause friction between players. Ideally it suits 2-3 players (not including the GM) with one player perhaps been a mentor to the others thus stopping interparty conflict.

I could go into more depth but for now I highly recommend having a look at the pdf and giving it a try, if anyone has played an immortal campaign we would love to hear your experiences and feedback. 

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Manic May: Skyrim, Crusader Kings, new campaigns and other methods of percrastination.

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , , , , , , , ,

Hello again folks, well do you remember I was ill last month and I was thinking that I should make a large back up of draft posts just in case it happened again?

Well I'll be honest I got a little side tracked...

However I did get to try out a massive amount of amazing PC mods for Skyrim (which regrettably broke my 97% complete play through but it gave me a reason to start all over again.), some of which I may just post overviews of next month as small bonus posts.
Also with the steam workshop finally working for Crusader Kings 2 I found myself been eventually dragged away from my Skyrim binge to a political web of deceit and regicide, which ended in me causing the collapse of most of Europe after I murdered the King of Italy so I could take his lover as my wife. 

It hasn't been all fun and games though (well not all games anyway) I was given the Cold Steel Medieval training sword for my birthday back in March and I've had time to really put its paces now so here's the overview as promised 

First of all when ordering the blade there were two websites coldsteel.com and coldsteel-uk.com, at the time of purchase I will say the UK site was terrible as every training blade description was a copy paste of the katana and the blades were lacking any relevant information. Thankfully this has improved somewhat but its still a little bare bones compared to the American site or even their Amazon page.

The blade is 39 inches in length including the handle and weights about 30.oz however when swinging it the centre of balance feels a little too high (roughly an inch or two above the guard.) but it does help build control and arm strength. 

The blades material I was originally sceptical about as it was Polypropylene which is the same stuff they uses to make plastic chairs for primary schools but its held out amazingly well and has bare suffer a scratch after the initial few that any training blade suffers and even those vanish with a layer of boot polish.

In comparison with using a real sword the training blade feels slightly heavier however this may be because of the centre of balance been a little high as previously mentioned. Given the price difference between a Cold Steel Polypropylene training blade (£37.20) and the average metal renactment blade (£120) I can recommend anyone who wants to try blade training should pick one up. 

Just for a little visible display what Polypropylene blades can do I've attached this video:

Finally one of the DM's of my gaming group who I will refer to by his Obsidian Portal name Seidgaldr has been wanting to try running a Cortex system game since we completed our last World of Darkness campaign.

If anyone is interest the campaign will be available to read at Obsidian Portal and I hope to doing a few updates regarding it here.

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