Saturday, July 30, 2016

Age of Information RULE BOOK RELEASE

Yep, that is right. We are stepping it up. Say hello to the print rewrite for the Age of Information. The work has been done in preparation for a small print sales release this autumn. We realize we skipped an age, but that is how things are right now.

As with the Core Rule Book there's no need to wait until printing (which will anyhow only be available in Sweden): you can go right to the download page and get it, right now. For free. No strings attached more than that if you do like it please spread the word.

Updates introduced:

  • Semi Auto Burst is now an Action and not a Full Action (actually this has been changed in the Core Rule Book, but here is where it matters).
  • A massive overhaul adding more than 100(!) pages of maps, images and a lot of background info.
  • Changed the Scope and Telescope weapon addons. Scope in the old rules is now replaced by Sight while Telescope is replaced by Scope.
  • Updated the ranges for all firearms.
  • Added several modules to the equipment section.

Downloads page updates

As part of this release the downloads page have also been updated. The old adventures available for download has been removed as they are not up to date with the updated rules (sorry). It is a future project to update them accordingly.
On the positive side though you will find a lot more maps available! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kragor the Merc: Headhunted

It turned out Erza still had some unfinished business to attend to, so had to stay on the island, but at that moment it was good enough to have two days of sleep to look forward to. However, bad habits die hard and after one day in easy mode the brain wanted work again, so we check the bounty board. It seemed the gang was in on the idea which was the best news so far: no matter how poor the result or how bad the pay experience improves everything. But in the end it might be that we got a little bit too much of that in one doze.

About the same time we had decided to run a bounty mission Elizah informed us we had been headhunted for another mission. Must've been due to the island mission and that meant there could be cash in it. However, nothing prevented us from running a little hunt on our spare time. So we did, but the intel we gathered on the top business made me realize I'd been pulling it too far; they were out of our league for the moment. Blame it on that stupid biomod - I think it gets me in a good mood and prevents me from thinking straight. Luckily, the others seemed to reach the same conclusion so was no need for me to bring it up. We cashed in on some low-level bounties instead, which made it a good day.

The mission for which we had been headhunted involved an escort for a corp called GERO. They were represented by a young talkative woman who seemed fairly new in the game. Some secret high-tech gear was to be transported some secret route from a secret location. Ed managed the negotiations so we got a shitty deal, but at least it would be some good advertising. Or so I thought.

A jeep took us out into the middle of nowhere; we had to turn off everything to prevent us from knowing where we were, which was part of the plan. Then we waited for the transport to arrive. Big terradyne with a sole driver and no escort. Considering there poor pay it seemed outright stupid. But it could just be a test of some kind. But the real test was still to come.

The terradyne had, beyond the spacy driver's compartment, a small outlook at the front and two seats at the back. We had a 48h trip ahead so took up positions, me and Ed at the rear and Angeline, Juron and Lucas at the front, and soon took off. Was relieved that someone else was driving for once - never took this job to be a trucker. First day passed with no incidents and the second seemed to be going well. That was until me and Lucas heard some noise, followed by the demand to "stop the truck" - spoken in our own com-channel. That was enough for me to take things serious. I had two options to be able to see what was going on: climb a ladder to the top of the moving truck or throw myself off. The first would put me in a really nice outline for anyone aiming at us, so option B it was. At that point the truck stopped, which I didn't know if it was good or bad. Got off and saw some figure in armor standing in the tower. He was still talking at our com-channel so I took a shot. The moment after an arm came leaving the outlook - I later learned it was Lucas'. Ed, who had taken the ladder and covered the distance over the truck came down firing - until Juron ordered us all to stop. Seemed the attacker had us at a severe disadvantage. There was some discussion going on but as I was out of the picture for the moment I took a look around. Ed's run across the vehicle had made it quite clear that if there was anyone else around with a gun they had chosen not to fire it. Meaning it was a stupid fight to fight. I spotted a contraption with a camera above the road about the same time a com-call came through that everyone was going to live, which sounded fair. Then Juron and the driver came around to offload something from the cargo - the attacker had only requested a single piece. So he had intel on the secret cargo, intel on the secret route and the corp was paying us shit-grade salary and body parts was coming out from the vehicle. Again it was clear we were out of our league and there was little to do - little I cared about doing - than getting the dude what he wanted. The only thing that buggered me was that the driver seemed upset about it; meaning he had either no tactical sense whatsoever or he was getting paid really well for delivering that cargo. Neither put me in a good mood so as we prepared to head out - requested item left at the road - I told him to shut up.

Eventually we reached our destination, with a new escort and our contractor waiting at the scene. Our only piece of luck I guess; the state of Lucas and Angeline - who had both been taken down with a sword - got our contractor a bit out of balance. There was some exchange with the driver but no real intel on what could have transpired. Generously the corp offered to supply a bionic arm for Lucas and we were given full pay (petty cash in comparison) and a somewhat honorary dismissal. It was all a clear reminder that to do jobs in the Fringe you need to be able to react in the back of your brain in any situation - there can be no hesitation. And yeah, money and fancy gear helps, too.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Kragor the Merc: Fruits of war


I hadn't planned on ever going back there, especially not after 36h with little to no sleep. But that's life: you want to be a part of it you have to stick to it.

Dukkha they called the island, though that was just a name. To the combators it was something with a lot of characters and numbers. What everyone agreed on was that it was a hellhole. I don't know how many corps wanted to control the place but regardless it was all-out war by now. Playground for the arms manufacturers you could say. But you did earn a decent pay if you got out of there alive.

Last time I was there I flew in with five people and went home alone. People make up stories about that, but I don't give a fuck. It would be a good test for all the rookies: if they survive maybe they have what it takes to make it in the Fringe.

I was surprised when I realized we'd be teaming up with Erza. Big orc girl, made a good impression last time I was there. And she had the brains to time limit her contract which is more you could say about most. Though I had a funny feeling about it I still felt like it would be alright with her with us. It would also solve all problems with leadership as she's the type of merc who likes to have control. Ed tried to explain something about that it was the biomod we took about a week ago that was behind the funny feeling somehow. Didn't get that part, but it seems Erza is going to start working for Freelance now, so she got the mod too and so it was all ok or something.

The mission was easy enough: find a missing team and put them back on track, get them home or at least salvage the equipment. We had four days in the poisoned wilderness to deliver and more than two point eight thousand creds waiting on the return. Sounded like fun - that is until I realized how long it's been since I pulled a pack across rough terrain. Had to dose up on vitagel to keep standing for fuck's sake. For two bloody days we pushed across the blasted mountains covering the inner part of the island. My trigger finger would have been itching had I not been so damn tired. But I was not the only one to get pushed, that's for sure, but everyone did alright. Juron had an incident where he nearly fell over a cliff, but given that he'd been carrying a termal hab and twice the water ransons I wouldn't hold that against him. Sure, he lost the water but I was surprised he was still standing at all to begin with. I figured we had enough rations to survive anyway.

Part from the damn trekking we had two points of interests. A chance encounter with two mercs, one of them with a leg injured, gave us information about an ambush up a head. Ed "I'm a medic" Butcher continued to surprise me. I don't pretend to understand exactly what happened but regardless he ended up telling the injured guy everything was fine and sent him walking down the mountain. And he had the gall to call me a cynical bastard? Sure I am, but I don't tell people everything's going to be fine and then send them with an open leg wound to walk for two days in valleys covered in poison. I tell them the truth and, if they prefer it that way, give them a pain killer in the form of a bullet through the brain. Different kinds of mercy I guess.
The second encounter was with the team we were sent to find who had been pinned down by enemies entrenched high up the mountain sides - the ambushers we'd been told about. Seemed there were few options but to try a covered approach, put down some covering fire and make a run for it. This time Juron proved me wrong. Never seen a grenade launcher fired so accurately. It was like myself back in the Fringe forest with a fire grenade and the crooked fixer all those years ago - just a grander scale to it. Those bastards in the trenches didn't stand a chance. From there on it was all down hill - quite literary.

We made it back to camp, cashed in and prepared to get shipped out again. Oh, and I checked if those two soldiers we met had returned. Seemed they had but one of them died a few hours later.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Kragor the Merc: Just another run


It had been like a fucking family reunion for two days; sleeping, eating and going shopping together. Even discussing a team name - Ed and Angeline mostly; Juron and Lucas thankfully appearing to be level headed in the matter. Yeah, we had such a lovely time... Adding Juron's apparent habit of walking naked to the showers it felt a bit too personal. Or at least, I had expected it do to. It had felt ok, which was strange. Nothing to get hung up on I guess...

It was good to get on a new mission; scouting out a part of the wilderness for Endo-X. Ed handled the negotiations, or at least tried to. We didn't get totally scammed so I guess that's alright for a rookie. As usual it was a long drive and it didn't get shorter as we somewhere after 12 or more hours of driving realized we were off course. At least no one crashed a jeep. Speaking of crashing jeeps Angeline certainly hit both high and low. The girl appears to be incapable of delivering dependable results; its either top of the class or total fuckup. Ought to get interesting as long as its not me getting killed first. Regardless, once we reached the site we were 3 hours late and the only explanation to give to the corp anyone could come up with was to tamper with the route - meaning we'd be late and do a bad job. No, thank you.

The fates delivered us in the end. Pulling through the terrain we spotted an ambush: two barricades placed at either side of the driveway with a group of armed thugs waiting behind. We drove at their flanks instead and turned the tables - most of them killed before they even realized how fucking bad idea it was in the first place. Two tried to run. Lucas got the first; good marksman that one. Ed somehow managed to get the other one to surrender - don't ask me how - so given our last "incident" by the road I decided to deal with the problem before it could be a matter of discussion. It worked out well. The rest of the mission was pancake in comparison and the corp bought our story about the ambush being the cause of the delay - happy day. Or at least it would have been if not for Krelik's smug face back at the base. But don't you worry big guy - we'll take you down eventually.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kragor the Merc: Wolf Splice

I've been working for Freelance Inc for almost 7 years now. Its been a bumpy ride. As far as Fringe collectives go they're ok. You get as many milk-runs as you want and the occasional death-trap thrown in for the fun. And you get the opportunity to team up - which is always good if you want to go after bigger money. Tried it for a while until my squadmates got stupid and got themselves killed. Been running solo since, but past forty and twenty years in the business it gets a bit dull. So I decided to sign up for a new team that commander Elizah is putting together. Apparently there is some biomod stuff they wanted to test on us - think it's called a wolf splice.


So I got a list of four names and started asking around a bit. Angeline is a young girl who just signed up with us. Scout or scav she's na├»ve from head to toe but at least that means you know where you've got her. Didn't find much on the others apart from a guy named 'Ed'. Medic with a bit of a reputation it seems for running headlong into danger. That could be interesting.

While everyone was rolling into town I decided to check out Ed who apparently knows some old dwarf geezer who runs a bar in town. Got there and checked him out and he seemed like the typical street kid to me; good shape, good looks and no discipline in sight. It was quite obvious we wouldn't get along so why try?

Eventually I got to see the rest of the crew: Lucas and Juron. Both gave a military impression which suited me just fine - time will show if they have the brains to think on their own when it is required. Elizah had Rosina - the Freelance medic - administer the biomod after which I think she had expected us to socialize and get to know each other for the rest of the day. Fortunately a client showed up and we got picked for a delivery job within the hour. So it was pack your stuff and get going - I didn't complain: no better way to learn about people than seeing them in action.

The job itself, get a jeep and a terradyne with some mining shit out to a destination in the wilds, was straight and simple. Didn't push the salary thinking we'd better start slow and easy. In the end I regretted that decision.  Not that we didn't deliver, but well, it could have gone smoother. Angeline did the worst mud-slide I've seen while managing not to crash the jeep. Cost us close to an hour but we could afford it. Then to the fucking, stupid shitty thing where these humans have managed to crash their cart in the middle of the road. Fine, shit happens. But then suddenly I have three teammates trying to help them fix the damn cart. I swear Ed was trying to play doctor with the horse. Only Lucas seemed to have some business-sense, but it wasn't like he was helping the situation. I really don't see how anyone can survive in the Fringe if they'll stop and help any sad case they happen upon along the road?
In the end we pushed the cart out of the way and continued about or business. It was the same result just that it took the others about an hour to figure it out. Luckily we still delivered on time and as usual the journey home was smooth.

The funny thing was the biomod we got. I think it messed with my head somehow. It was how we were doing everything. I don't get it at all, but it feels like this is just the beginning. But if I'm gonna help these softies to harden up to the Fringe climate I must get myself into shape. Its gonna be hard work. And a lot of pain. At least it seems that Ed might be picking up the torch and try to be a leader. Good I say - for I don't want to be held responsible for any decisions to help old women over the road or to save the burning orphanage. Business is business.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kragor the Merc: An introduction

Photoshopped original image
Meet Kragor Artz.
Kragor is a man who, seen in a crowd, would be quickly ignored. This because his severely scarred face with a patchwork of different skin tones immediately brings on an awkward feeling about where to keep your eyes when facing him. Getting past this fact one would quickly notice he has orc blood in him as defined by a thick lower jaw, bulky physique and slightly greyish color of skin. The eyes are green and his hair a worn dark brown. He dresses like an outbacker in woodland combat gear hiding a well-fitting all-weather suit which remains in good condition despite looking a few years old. A Brimestone Trekker backpack adorns his back - the brand sought by any serious survivallist - and he carries a riot club in a holster along his left leg and, a bit more unusual, a folded crossbow appears to be attached to the side of the backpack. He appears to be middle aged but in good shape.

Kragor is a mercenary in the Union city of Dormicas, located in the Fringe. He is also a character in an Age of Information campaign called "The Pack". While not the most social person he does like to share a good story now and then, which might just be posted on this blog.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

CORE RULE BOOK RELEASE


Summer is not all sun and rest. For the last few weeks the Core Rule Book has undergone a major rewrite, preparing the material for the first planned print sales release this autumn (provided the artist working on the cover can get it done in time - no pressure!).

Well, the rewrite is now complete and while the material contains a few tweaks and fixes it is mostly backstory and flavor. To be more precise it is about a total of 90 pages of backstory and flavor! Should give you some reading if the sun is not shining.

And to make it even better there's no need to wait until printing (which will anyhow only be available in Sweden): you can go right to the download page and get it, right now. For free. No strings attached more than that if you do like it please spread the word.

Updates introduced

  • When performing a Full Action a character is still allowed to make 1 Reaction in the same combat Round.
  • Some minor changes to the Attack modifiers (you'll find them on page 73).
  • Wounds now increase difficulty for all tests against Strength, Toughness and Agility.
  • Strain now increase difficulty for all tests against skills, Perception and Willpower.
  • Clarified the rules concerning performing rituals with several casters (page 111-112).
  • You'll find quite a lot of short little inspirational stories as you read along.
  • The chapters on Mortal Races and Nations & Peoples have been extended greatly (and also adding some maps).
  • The Death & Religion chapter has been extended.
  • The Army Management chapter has been slightly changed.
  • Weapon images have been added to the Gear chapter.
  • The list of spells by school have been extended with a short description of each school.

As for the Age of Knowledge and Age of Information rulebooks they too will see some major overhaul but no date set for that work yet. Keep your eyes open.