Wednesday, June 22, 2011

D6 Martial Arts

One of the curious things about D6 Adventure is that there are no rules for martial arts. In fact the phrase "martial arts" isn't even mentioned anywhere in the rules. Instead you just have a Brawling skill to cover all types of unarmed combat. To compliment that there is a short menu of Combat Options that you can choose from: All-out, Grab, Lunge, Knockdown, trip, Push, Sweep, and Tackle. I suppose that would work OK. In fact, it kind of reminds me of the way Hero System handles combat. But it's quite a change from earlier editions of D6.

In D6 Star Wars© martial arts were handled in a rudimentary fashion. Your Brawling skill had two specialization options, boxing or martial arts. It didn't really add much to the game besides the name. That changed with the publication of Rules of Engagement: The Rebel Specforce Handbook. That supplement included an optional rule for Custom Martial Arts. For every 1D you improved in your skill you could choose from a long list of special hand-to-hand techniques. With techniques such as Blindfighting, Multiple Strikes, and Nerve Punch characters with the martial arts specialization started to really feel like kung fu fighters.

This system was modified in the DC Universe/D6 Legend rules. There was still a list of Close Combat Maneuvers like Bear Hug, Double Kick, or Haymaker that a character could choose from. But now Martial Arts was a separate skill and your character could specialize in particular maneuvers. In addition to that characters with a high Martial Arts skill gained extra actions. For every 2D in the skill you gained an extra action in addition to your normal action. Now characters with Martial Arts could fight off multiple foes using amazing techniques, just like a kung fu master.

I miss the martial arts rules from those earlier editions. I don't know why they dropped them from D6 Adventure and D6 Space. Luckily the games are similar enough that the rules can be ported to the newer edition without much trouble. It's worth the time it takes to come up with a house rule to let you deliver the Smash of the Six Beetles!

Monday, June 13, 2011


This is a weird case of life imitating art. Remember the Punknaught from Chromebook 1? It turns out the Mexican narco cartels are building their own version of the things. At least they don't hover -- yet.

Every riot cop's nightmare!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Outlaw Press

 UPDATE: I really put my foot into it this time! It looks like the leopard hasn't changed its spots, and OP is still up to its sleazy old ways. I apologize for giving them any word of mouth. Thanks to everybody for setting me straight on this one. If anyone reading this wants T&T stuff please go to sites like Flying Buffalo and Tunnels & Trolls and not the crappy outfit I posted about below.

Friday, June 3, 2011

D6 Marvel Superheroes

I was reading through the OGL D6 Legend rules and I realized they aren't a complete rule set. I'd say they includes about 3/4 or so of the DC Universe rules, but there's a lot missing. For example, the power Speed Manipulation is mentioned several times, but it's not described in the powers section. I suppose if you wanted to you could complete the game yourself by adding the missing rules. I doubt either Eric or Nikola would mind. But as it stands now the free D6 Legend rules are not a whole game.

There is a D6 superhero game on the web, though. It's the D6 Marvel Superheroes game. The copy I originally got is by T. Catt. But as far as I can tell the rules are currently only available on the Arcane•Marks game page (at the bottom) in a version by Talon Dunning. I guess it's the same cat.

This is the old cover

Anyway, the game is not based on the Legend rules, but on a slightly modified version of D6 Adventure. The biggest change is that the D6A attributes (which were the same as the Legend ones, BTW) are replaced by the FASERIP attributes from  TSR's old Marvel Super Heroes Roleplaying Game. Fate Points work the same, but are now called Karma points like in the old MSH game. There are also new rules for Popularity which are somewhat like the Reputation rules in Mekton Z. The most surprising part is that there isn't a new system for handling super power. Instead the game just uses the Special Abilities form the D6A rules. Players are encouraged to add new abilities, but the stock list works surprisingly well for most super heroes. Two new powers are included, Wall-Crawling (3) and Power Cosmic (15). For characters like Dr. Strange or Jean Grey who have magical or psionic powers you just use the Magic and Psionic rules from D6A. There are two sample characters included, Spider-Man and Wolverine, which gives you an example of how the rules work.

It's a pretty clever use of the stock D6 rules to handle a super hero setting. Using the Legend scale, I'd say it would work good for Power Level 1-2 games. But higher level games featuring powerhouse characters like Thor or Hulk would be harder to run. For example, Spider-Man has a Lifting skill of 10D+2 which means he can lift 1,400 kg. That's impressive, but it's nowhere near the 10 tons he's should be able to lift. Another problem is that the cost of some of the Special Abilities in D6A are a little off. For example, Elasticity, which gives you the powers of Mr. Fantastic, costs only one point per rank. Meanwhile, Ventriloquism, a far less useful ability which just lets you throw your voice, cost three points per rank. So in my opinion the D6A rules might need a little more tweaking to work well for superhero gaming.

Which is not to criticize the author of D6 Marvel Superheroes, who did a great job. The game is an excellent example of how to take rules in an unexpected and fun direction. If you want to run a superhero game using a free set of rules these would be a great choice.