Podcasts and Blogs

The Whole Block are Seize the GM Stat blocks built to fit snuggly into certain genres. Instead of providing a single idea in the form of a person, place, or thing, they’ll provide a series of related items to help add the block into an existing campaign.

The Golem Maker
High Fantasy, Superhero, and Dark Fantasy
Magic has often been used to supplement a lacking in strength, and the crafting of the golem has been a way of converting the mystical arts into raw physical power. The golem maker knows this, and as she strives to perfect the art she uses it to protect her social standing and keep those who would threaten her at a massive arm’s length.

Lady Ferian
A noble of House Wrest, with elven blood if the rumors are to be believed, Lady Ferian Wrest has worked her way into becoming the master of the college of travelers. She looks young for her age, but has a steel about her underlining the decades she’s survived and fought for her position. Untrusting, believing others scheme as much as her, she plots and plans from within the Wrest Manor within the ground of the college campus.
Lady Ferian is a master of the art of golemancy. Be it fire, bone, earth, or steel, she can make it move, give it strength, have it fight and protect her interests. The plate guard she creates protect the college’s grounds, and she has convinced other noble houses to purchase them on as their loyal protectors. Yet the golem maker is plotting something big. She does what she can to squash the rumors but too many now know she fancies some of the artifacts of the other houses, and there are whispers that the golems she sells may still keep their loyalty first and foremost to their maker. The guards once employed by these houses have all moved on to other more profitable cities. Only her steel monstrosities remain.
Fitting Lady Ferian In
Lady Ferian Wrest can be placed in any civic center with enough of an existing ruling class and studies to have such a cunning golemancer or scientist within their midst. Be it magic or the power of electricity, she can make these creatures move. Her golems can be traditional fantasy creatures or be robots, but all hold their true loyalty to their maker. She can be an antagonist, sending her creations out into the world to gather and protect her interests, or she can be an ally using her knowledge to empower a party of adventurers or bolstering their ranks. She can also serve as a mentor for party members who are constructs or use body replacement parts.

The College of Travelers
The college is a bastion of learned scholars who consider themselves masters of applicable arts. Be they masters of crafting magical goods or engineers making super-science themed gadgets, the college holds them all. They are known for creating legendary artifacts, or mysterious creatures of power and danger. Their offerings to the world have varied from dangerous to outright destructive, and they persist in their works, even if the college itself is forced to move.
The college of travelers is a large campus built on a metal platform. Its size varies as the needs of it’s students varies, but in general the college holds at least six buildings: dormitories for students, dormitories for staff, a main lecture hall, a lab, a large library and an administration building. Additional buildings can be constructed as the dean of the college programs it, and they can be packed up and returned to the foundation once their need ends. The college itself can pack itself up into a large travelling format, although this can vary from period to period as the college’s membership changes in tone and feel. It’s had legs, a drill, wings, rockets, and a few times a dimensional hoping field when other modes of travel would not have saved the structure.
Currently the college is under the control of Lady Ferina Wrest. She has advised the college to produce a factory for her golem crafting needs. These golems are currently patrolling the grounds, and are also performing odd maintenance on the college’s movable parts. It is almost as if Lady Ferina thinks of the college itself as one of her golem creations.

Fitting The College of Travelers In
The college is a mysterious place and in either magical or technological settings should represent a level of sophistication beyond what the players are used to. Magic works differently, physics goes haywire, and the rules of what should be are often ignored. The college can be a way of admitting powerful artifacts into a game, or a way for them to be safely removed and studied. It can also be a place magical or creative characters can use to find mentors, to study, or improve their crafts. Accessing obscure knowledge and finding answering to hard problems all lie within the college’s library. It makes for a good starting point for a character to originate from, and an even better place for a villain’s lair. Particularly creative villains will make heavy use of the modular nature of the college, and use it’s mobi

Wand of Three Souls
It comes in three parts, each a long fat wedge shape with a single side being curved. The material seems looks metal but feels like wood in both weight and texture. Only the triangles on the edges of the wedge-shaped wands has a metallic feel to them, but they look like bone or some porous rock. Alone, these pieces seem useless, but together the wand serves as a powerful focus for arcane energies, especially those focused on the manipulation of matter.
The Wand of Three Souls acts as a focus for controlling large constructs. Be it magical the wand is able to become attuned to a thing after being within its presence for a full lunar cycle. Be it technological, the wand can surmise the nature of a machine within minutes, so long as the machine has a means of communication that is not solely analogue. In this manner the wand can be attuned to up to three different items, although to do so it must be broken down into it’s three base shapes and placed near the individual constructions. While it is attuning in this manner, it cannot control other things, and it will lose its previous attunement once it has become acquainted with a new machine.
Currently the rode is in the hands of Lady Ferina Wrest. She has attuned it to the college of travelers, and is using it to keep the construct under control. She is currently debating breaking the rod to link it to a powerful artifact she plans to steal from another house, but is wary of the danger of doing so.

Fitting the Wand of Three Souls In
The wand represents a cheat code for any campaign. It allows someone to control a magical or high-tech device without having to first learn its requirements, so long as they have a month to attune the wand to the device. As such it is very dangerous in the hands of players and should be delicately handled once they surmise it’s potential. Giving it to a villain to use to control a powerful weapon, a base, or magical construct will risk it falling into the players’ hands, and so if it is used in a campaign consider having the players risk losing a third of its form. Even having them quest for the three pieces can serve as a good foundation for the game, especially if they don’t know what artifacts the wand is currently bound to.

Using the Golem Maker
The Whole Block
The trio of entries serve as a foundation to a dangerous enemy or powerful ally in a campaign. Lady Ferian’s plotting can cause the player harm if they stand in her way. She might send them on quests to receive a missing part of the wand, or to locate the college itself. She may already be in possession of the three wand pieces but needs the players to place the binding wedges in several key locations for her. The players may seek her out to take advantage of the college’s mobility. Stealing the wand from her should be hard but may be necessary to control a literal plot device the players need.

Dark Tides Session 5
Dark Tides Actual Play

00:00 / 56:30

The fifth session of Carrion Crown

Contact us

Derek @seizethegm

Josh @Joshposey

Aj @nicholson_aj

Marty @mhooie

Joe @joe_rpg

Music is “Dark Times” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Support us on Patreon as well.

Comics Exchange Interviews Shawn Harbin
Interview Show

00:00 / 23:03

Main Topic

In this episode Bill the owner of the Comics Exchange here in Knoxville interviewed Shawn Harbin about his upcoming Kickstarter

Shawns’ contact info and his Kickstarter page links are below

The Dungeon Comic Facebook page

TransFurred Kickstarter Page

Instagram and Twitter

“Laser Groove” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Episode 71: Really number 100- Look around and what do we see.
Regular Shows

00:00 / 30:51

Main Topic

Today we do a short retrospective and look forward. Glad you are joining us on this big show.

What have we seen and done so far? Where are we going and what are the hopes, dreams, and fears for the future of this fun gaming show you listen to?

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

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Its been a few weeks since the last Card Catalog post was able to make it up! I want to send a quick apology to those of you who have been patiently waiting for me! Work has been quite intense lately and there is a touch of the flu that has hit the Guard-a-Manger household so the perfect storm of time and energy lost has occurred!

Whats the plan? The plan is to catch up and then add a week between some series to help me get some time to build the backlog up for the future posts. In the light of future posts, I do want to know what you want to see! I’ll share what I’ve got planned right now but if there are systems and worlds that you want to see covered in the future – Drop a comment here, on FB, Twitter, or Instagram! Find our Patreon and Discord for an even more direct line to all of us here on Seize the GM!

First – We finish the 1 Pilot, 3 Ways series! There is a good amount of work done on the Starfinder and FATE versions but doing the fine tuning and writing hasn’t been finished. That’s sometime in the next week or two. After that, I’ll take a week to start building up some space and come back to a superheroic system that we’ve talked about before but not explained – The Marvel SuperHeroes FASERIP system and continue with the current plan to continue on in the Argonaut’s world and setting. I’ve got ideas that are percolating to expand the FATE write up in 1 Pilot, 3 Ways to a whole series and will be drafting my fellow Seize the GMers to help fill that out if you are familiar with FATE’s character generation methods. We did the Steampunk 1879 from FASA, and had a single Earthdawn character in 1 Archer, 3 Ways, but I am working on the rest of Balama’s group to explore some ways to use Earthdawn in different ways.

I have an idea for another break in the usual series tentatively titled “Edition Wars“. Where 1 X, 3 Ways takes one concept through three different systems, this would take existing concepts and run them through different editions or versions of the same game to highlight both the mechanical and narrative changes that have happened. I could take a series I’ve already done, update them by a few levels or XP to give the narrative hook from the work and then have one or two new characters to highlight how it changed. Rifts may not have a new “edition” but there were some significant changes to the world and the classes in the Ultimate Rifts Edition Core Book, which I picked up after making T-Ball’s Pack.

What do you want to see after all of these? Sci-Fi? Fantasy? A particular crunchy system or a particular setting? I am getting a real urge to have 2019 be the year of the supers the way 2018 seemed to be the year of the sci-fi but I am certainly flexible!

Again, sorry that the nature of offline has made it difficult to keep the Card Catalog on a regular basis but you have my word I am working on keeping the rest of the year stocked up on the written word just as soon as I can catch up on sleep.

Episode 70: Online Gaming
Regular Shows

00:00 / 48:10

Main Topic

The world’s going digital, and while getting together with a group of friends in a living room, at a con, or at a game shop is still a great experience; getting together virtually has become a more practical habit in our ever-expanding online world. From free voice services and virtual tables, traditional roleplaying has many opportunities to expand in the online community.

  • Communication and Dice – While voice software like Discord, Skype, or Google hangouts will likely be your primary form of talking to your players, it’s not the only method. Longer running games may still use the trusted standby of play by forum gaming, or chat room text like the games of MUDs, BBS. Selecting the right method of communication is important as it’ll also determine how you want to handle your dice rolling for your players. Many virtual tables offer dice rollers but sites such as Rolz.org can provide an alternative for GM’s that need to see the results their players call out. Many voice software also have options for dice rollers, such as Exploding Dice.
  • Setting up the gaming environment for those that need more– For those that need a virtual table there are many options to running one. Hosting a table takes an understanding of the different resources out there and matching them to the game you’re wanting to play. Virtual table tops like Fantasy Grounds, Tabletop Simulator, Roll20, and Skirmish offer various free and premium tools. Games that are battle focused may benefit from these tools more than games that are more narratively driven. A webcam at the DM’s house pointed at a board of miniatures may serve as a strong enough tool to keep your players engaged.
  • Finding Players – Discord, Roll20 Forum, Facebook Groups, Friends and Friends of friends, Reddit
  • Expanded Tool Chest – Running the game from the comfort of a GM’s home computer allows them access to a number of tool that might be a little trickier pulling into the living room or con table. Tools like Syrinscape (see episode 17 of Seize the GM) can be integrated into voice software to add atmosphere. Alternative tables can also be run. How character generators have massively enabled online play

Stat Blocks

Zendead- Arondir

The cut of the figure sliding into the doorway was an impressive one. Measuring twenty hands tall where as most people where lucky to be fifeteen. Its clothing was covered in dust from the road. The weapon that was slung over his back looks like a metal hockey stick. The shadows in the room made it hard to see any features other then the most broadstrokes. As they strode forward slowly into the room pushing the rickety door back his face came into view. The crisscross of scars told of a hard life meet with lots of struggle. The most sriking feature of his face aside from the scars was the third eye squinting from his right cheek. The thing that was so striking aside from him having it was the pale lime green light emitting from it. When the light struck something alive it glowed the same color momentarily. His hands where fanned out and one was reaching forward the sparks dancing on the ends of his fingers stopped when he touched the doorframe as he slinked into the room.

His gruff voice called out, “Come out I am here to get you to town.”

I stepped out and held out my hand and made the sign of the traveller. He returned it with the sign of the warden. I grabbed my cloak from the hiding hole I had been in. I am glad I can call out in the mind to them for help once I am out of the wastelands. I need the minds to help jump the scream for help and all minds helps. I ask his name and he tells me it is Raf and I thank him as only i can by telling him my name but never in words for I am Arondir the mind speaker.


The Golden Bowl

The bowl is ringed with a golden leaf over a dark stained wood. It sat on myriad tables for years, the simple wax fruit hiding its true nature. But when the previous owner passed away and the dish passed to their next of kin, it ended in storage for the next few decades. And now, an estate sale later, it has landed in your lap.

Its nature is curious, the bowl seems to move back and forth in the house without anyone touching it. And always the fruit in the galley vanishes. When the bowl reappears, replicas of the missing fruit can be found in the bowl made of gold and gems. The process takes time; days for berries, weeks for apples. As long as the enriched food remains in the bowl, they retain their freshness and gleam, but once removed within 24hours the fruit begins to rot. The first day it rots slowly, but after two days the process quickens as the gold and gems begin to spoil and melt. After a week, while still made of precious stone and jewels, the fruit will be pungent and rotten.

So long as fruit shaped objects remain in the bowl, it will not move. Even if it’s fake wax fruit, wooden berries, or other fake food items, the bowl will remain stationary. Only real fruit will become gilded.


Prolate  adjective
pro·​late | \ˈprō-ˌlāt

Definition of prolate
: elongated in the direction of a line joining the poles

History and Etymology
Latin prolatus (past participle of proferre to bring forward, extend) from pro- forward + latus, past participle of ferre to carry

First Known Use of prolate

Bottom 20% of words

Closing remarks

Zendead- iZombie So good check

nulloperations- So Many Levels Twitch stream hosted by Christiana Ellis.

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segmentFind us on Patreon

Dark Tides Session 4
Dark Tides Actual Play

00:00 / 1:08:22

The fourth session of Carrion Crown

Contact us

Derek @seizethegm

Josh @Joshposey

Aj @nicholson_aj

Marty @mhooie

Joe @joe_rpg

Music is “Dark Times” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Support us on Patreon as well.

Episode 69: GM Chat with Francis from the Catalyst Demo Agent and Mana & Steel
GM Chat

00:00 / 53:35

Main Topic

Tonight we sat down to hang out and chat it up with Francis from the Catalyst Demo Agent and the Host of the Mana & Steel Actual Play Podcast.




Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

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Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

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M’kal On’id- Level 6 Officer(Pilot)
Babylon 5 – 2d Edition Faith Manages

One of the reasons I choose Babylon 5 to revisit for a Pilot purpose is that it is one of the few class and level games I had readily available that specifically put Pilots into a class.  It is one of the subclasses of The Officer, but by providing a clear path for a Pilot, it made it a distinctly attractive game to include in this series. The other interesting reason is that in Season 2 of Babylon 5, they added a Fighter Pilot character – Warren Keffer.  As the story goes, the network executives required the addition of a hot shot pilot … and as soon as they were no longer watching every move made by JMS, Zeta Leader Warren Keffer met his end at the hands of a Shadow Vessel.

System Notes

I’ll start by going over the basics of the system, but if you have read the posts from Nakir’s Zocalo Bar Happy Hour Drinking Society, you will already be familiar with the next few paragraphs. The Babylon 5 RPG was part of the Open Game License explosion in the 2000s.  When Dungeons & Dragons 3e came out, Wizards of the Coast made a decision to release the underlying mechanics and game concepts in an open license for third party and fan development. This is still known as the Open Game License and formed the basis for the later d20 expansions and compatibility. The underlying mechanics are therefore something familiar to many role players today – the main mechanic is to roll a d20, add appropriate modifiers, and compare the result to a difficulty or opposed roll for the result.  The attributes are ones you have seen before – Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma; Characters have levels and hit points; and the Character classes are mostly familiar.

Each class provides an array of statistics, including the Base Attack Bonus to determine whether you hit in combat, a Defence bonus since armor is pretty rare in the setting, as well as an array of saving throw bonuses between the three savings throws – Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.  As you level up, you increase the somewhat paltry Hit Points, a decidedly deadly game this one, and gain specific abilities based on your class. Additionally, the Babylon 5 Game put a premium on social skills and investigative abilities so the Influence Statistic became important which measured how much pull or influence your character has with different factions.  Feats are the special abilities that separate your character from another and include a host of options.

Check out the previous posts from Nakir’s Zocalo Bar for a walk through of five different character builds, the setting, and the system.

When working in to spaceship combat, being a trained pilot with the appropriate Feats provides additional ability to actually use the ships to their full potential.  The system is set up to allow different “Orders” or vehicle actions to be taken in chase or ship combat, and the Feats provide additional Orders and ability. No matter how good your Pilot Roll may be without the ability to engage in multiple order per combat round, a pilot will never be the equal of a Pilot.

Design Notes

For this 3 Ways build, I decided to eschew “standard” humans, and in the Babylon 5 setting, it was easy to identify a Narn pilot as one that makes sense because of the larger setting metaplot.  This may showcase some diversity in the systems, but it also can showcase how a single concept plays across these different games. Babylon 5 was one RPG chosen because the Officer Class specifically contemplated Pilots as an option to make the starfighter ace, like poor Warren Keffer mentioned above. Dexterity and Intelligence are going to be our favored stats here.

For the Ability Score Rolls, I will use the same set of results from the Nakir’s Zocalo Bar Happy Hour Drinking Society results: With a 4D6 roll, dropping the lowest, the resulting attributes to assign will be: 12; 16; 15; 10; 12; 15.

The resulting Ability Scores after the Narn bonus to CON and hit to CHA are: Strength – 12, Dexterity – 16, Constitution – 17, Intelligence – 15, Wisdom – 10, Charisma – 10. Not quite perfect, but fitting for a no-nonsense and by-the-numbers starfighter ace.  As an Officer, M’kal chooses the Pilot “subclass” to get access to all of the Pilot features such as the Spaceship Proficiency Feat and Pilot as a Class skill. I start by beginning with the Maximum rating in Piloting, Knowledge(Tactics), and Operations (Piloting) and then spread the rest of the skill points out to reflect the background including adding ranks to the Knowledge (Narn Culture) to reflect the devotion to the Narn cultural identity that many share at this time in history. I make sure to include Operations as needed to ensure that I eventually pick up the Fire Control Feats for his Dogfighting.

As far as Feats go, Skill Focus: Pilot is an obvious option since Spaceship Proficiency came for free as an Officer and all Narn have Toughness.  This is then balanced out with a good bit of equipment though as an Officer, the addition of a few particular weapons makes M’kal pretty dangerous even outside of a Fighter.  

Advancement Notes

As a d20 derivative game, the class and level advancement is a straightforward advancement system.  The Officer Class provides increases to the “Base Attack Bonus” to hit as well as Hit Points, and Saving throw Benefits.  Additionally, skill ranks are increased each level and then the additional Feats and Class Features show up. As you gain experience, you gain the abilities at each level of your class, including increases to your Proficiency Bonus.  By 6th Level, most importantly for M’kal, is additional Feats from a Pilot list of feats including Starfighter Dodge and Dogfighting.

For the general Feats available, there are 2 to choose after the two above may be better suited to ensuring that the Soldier aspect of the character concept is met. I have made sure that Armor Proficiency reduces his penalties in his armor and added Improved Initiative to start him down that particular path of Feats.

Check the Character Sheet linked below for all the advancement!

This character creation and advancement was relatively simple, as this is the style that most gamers have at least passing familiarity with.  There is some amount of flexibility and options in this, but the least number of options of the three different systems used. I think it is also a good example of how the d20 system could provide a great deal of accessibility and use.  Babylon 5 keeps Hit POints quite low and forces a focus on social and diplomatic aspects of the world as befits the setting, so the use of Influence and limits on armor availability really go push the game in that direction.

Character Notes

M’kal NDid is a Narn Fighter Pilot.  This is something for which he thanks G’Quan and shows his pride.  For a long time, the Narns could provide a great deal of Soldiers and Warships, but the fighters were left lacking. M’kal persevered and is an acknowledged ace, a veteran of the Centauri’s renewed aggression. Sadly, his skills alone couldn’t balance the onslaught the Centauri unleashed with the Shadows at their back.  It was the promise of Babylon 5 and defeating the Shadows which should then push back against the Centauri as well. It is on the Station that M’kal thought back on his youth.

Babylon 5 brought back memories.  Ambassador G’kar had a similar history – a soldier in the Narn War of Independence, G’Kar embodied the Narn Regime’s hot blooded and dynamic nature.  He was outspoken and inspiring – M’kal was one such youngling inspired. His parents were lost to the accursed Centauri and he needed a direction, something to hold on to and believe in.  The Narn Regime needed soldiers, and it turns out they needed pilots as well.

M’kal is one of the few pilots to make it this far.  The Narn Regime, it seems, had an near unlimited supply of GROPOS, Ground Pounders, who could hold nearly any planet and a fleet that was powerful and feared … but lacked the true naval dominance that advanced starfighters provide.  M’kal’s skill and his ability to exceed even Minbarai Pilots made up for the technological deficit the Narn Regime was in.

Success begat focus and pride.  M’kal became known for his skills and for executing the orders of the Regime quite well.  He continued to watch G’kar, now an Ambassador to babylon 5 advance the Narn cause, and he saw a glorious future.  An amazing way for the Narn to reclaim what should have been theirs from the Centauri. That was, until the Centauri and their mass drivers threw decimation back onto Narn.   

While he fought well, the sudden power and fortune of the Centauri overcame everything Narn had to offer.  He was left adrift, figuratively and literally, until he found a way to Babylon 5. He has been welcomed as a warrior, a Starfighter Pilot, in defense of the now independent Babylon station.  He never expected that he would be on the deployment as G’kar, nor did he expect G’kar to be stripped of his place in the Kah’ri but now he listens to a human and flies in defense of a space station with Minbari battle cruisers protecting it.  His quiet barely contains his fury, but he suffers the ignomy with the grace of a Narn. His pride allows nothing less.

M’kal Babylon 5 Sheet

1 Pilot, 3 Ways Overview

BABYLON 5 and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Copyright © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  The Babylon 5 2d Edition game is subject to the OGL and was published by Mongoose Publishing.

Welcome back to Card Catalog! I know this is a little late and thank you for your patience. I am going to return to the idea of taking once concept through three different games like I did for the 1 Archer, 3 Ways series of posts! This edition of Card Catalog, I will take one core concept and make that concept in three different systems to see what the system’s choices will do to that concept! Personally, I think it is fun and instructive to see how a character concept is changed or shaped by the mechanics of each system and the character generation system as well as advancing the character several levels.  

I am not a game designer, but I appreciate game design as all tabletop role players should.  Card Catalog looks not only at what sort of characters may inhabit each world, or system, but also shows how some of the character is shaped by the system.  That is why the design and character note sections are separated out for each of the posts. As a periodic break from just taking the deeper dive into a single system or setting, Card Catalog will take the time to take one character concept through several different systems and settings. This time, we will connect the characters to some of the other Card Catalog series that we have already done.  

The Concept – Cold as Ice Pilot

The Hot Shot Pilot tends to come in two particular categories – the rebellious and iconoclastic loudmouth versus the icy cold professional.  This is the core character duality from Top Gun between Maverick and Ice Man even down to their names. This is difference between Han Solo and Wedge Antilles; I am going to work on a concept based on the latter.  I admitted to loving Archers previously, and here I will again note my love of the pilot classes and abilities. I have loved the dog fighting movies and TV shows since I was a wee lad, and lament often the lack of sufficient starfighter combats in modern movies and shows.  Pilots also are a type of character that can be hard to pull off and get to gel with a team or group because the piloting is so often a solo experience.

For this Pilot, I am going to focus on the star fighter and fighter ace style role.  To add some flavor to the design and have a secondary way to work through the systems, this will be a current or former military pilot partially for build purposes and partially to make sure that the character is useful outside of the piloting role.  If possible, I will make sure to focus on some combat capabilities to show this off. Personally, I like to have this kind of a secondary skill set or focus for most character to help me create and play a more three dimensional or fully realized character.  

The three systems will be the Babylon 5 RPG, Starfinder, and FATE Core.  Each subsequent post will focus on one system and making this professional and icy pilot to see what sort of mechanical choices happen and how it may change this core concept.  If you want me to build a full legal as written Pilot from Star Frontiers, unlike the House Ruled version for the Bodaz G’lunk in Kratog, drop a comment here, on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and we will come up with something.   

M’Kal On’d – Level 6 Narn Officer (Pilot)
Babylon 5 2d Edition – Faith Manages

Babylon 5 has a class that specifically contemplates Pilots in the Officer Class so I knew that I would revisit it as one of the three Pilot builds here especially to compare and contrast with the Starfinder version. I’ll connect M’kal to the story I was using for the Nakir’s Zocalo Bar Happy Hour, but I am very interested in how the Officer (Pilot) Class channels the decisions for the build.  It was probably the average of the three systems, with the ease of a specific class to choose from, but some complexity inherent in the OGL and d20 systems.

A Narn is great fun in Babylon 5 and it makes sense to add a Narn Fighter Pilot to the group as the timelines progress and the Narn Regime is conquered by the Centauri.  I also considered a Centauri who had left behind the corrupt rule but settled for the rescued from a disabled fighter after a battle before the Centauri could put him into a prison camp Narn.

BABYLON 5 and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Copyright © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  The Babylon 5 2d Edition game is subject to the OGL and was published by Mongoose Publishing.

M’kal – Level 6 Ace Pilot Borais(Human) Soldier

Starfinder, as the descendant of the OGL and d20 games, shows where the last 15 years of game design have brought that style of system to compare to Babylon 5. One obvious part of the pilot build for Starfinder is the Ace Pilot Theme! Building off some of the story ideas from the Starfinder Card Catalog earlier, I am going to use the Soldier Class to build out an Ace Pilot here.  The Icy Professional didn’t feel right for using the Envoy or Technomancer classes and the original Troublemaker Beta crew had an Operative as the pilot of the group, Chitter, so I wanted to mix it up. There were a huge number of options in this build and it was probably the most complicated to generate and advance. Starfinder provides a wealth of options and I certainly was able to think through ways to push M’kal forward.  

I also used a species out of the Pact Worlds book that came out just to add some extra flair to the icy coldness.  The Borais are partially Undead without the entire suite of Undead qualities, but are heavily found on Eox which I can tie into the Troublemaker’s story about the Elf-Bone Sage conspiracy in the character’s story.

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M’kal onDid – Gene Modified Human Pilot

I have not yet done a full Card Catalog write up on FATE, so I’ll cover the brief overview on the post.  FATE provides a narrative based and collaborative roleplaying game where the straightforward mechanic is modified by Invoking “Aspects” that are short phrases that describe something about your character or the scene.  In a lot of ways, just jotting down your character concept and their basic personality covers half of the character creation process. Since FATE Core is a setting agnostic system, I will probably return to the Sci-Fi setting I started to design to make this character for a full FATE Core Card Catalog sometime.  THe design here was the easiest, but also the most finicky because I get caught up in tuning the character just right, but the way advancement works to switch some skills around or to change some of these Aspects allows for a great freedom. It is also important to note that Evil Hat is offering a FATE Space Toolkit book at DriveThruRPG right now – it is text only, but sales of the prerelease version will fund the art for the final version which will be offered as an update to your PDF if you get a copy. I … uh … may have moved the FATE Core character build to the end so I can purchase that to support Evil Hat and see if I need to update my build. While it has the least structured advancement, the straightforward choices made it easy to decide how to improve M’kal.

A genetically modified starfighter pilot, M’kal has found himself cast out of The Most Glorious Empire of the Expanding Reach for having a Heart to Big for His Own Good.  His calm precision in the cockpit and on Vanguard Station can betray his unnatural abilities selling his services while this Cold War is One Mistake Away from Going Hot.

Fate Core System is Copyright © 2013 Evil Hat Productions, LLC. All rights reserved. The text of Fate Core System is available under the Open Gaming License and a Creative Commons Attribution license. For more details about the terms and requirements of these licenses, please visit www.evilhat.com or www.faterpg.com.