Posted in: Archer, Character Creation Challenge, No One Lives Forever, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 9: Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes

Creation Challenge Day 9

Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes (aka MSPE) is a role playing game released by Flying Buffalo and written by Michael Stackpole. If that name sounds familiar it may be from his various novels that he has written. Mr. Stackpole has penned several novels for Star Wars, Battletech and other series. He was also a big defender of the role playing industry when the “this game is evil” scare reared its ugly head in the 1980’s.

When I did my Character Creation Challenge entry for Top Secret, I created Secret Agent Gary King, one of the new recruits in an attempt to re-build the active agent roster for UNITY, an intelligence organization that is assisting the western powers in the 1960’s cold war. Today we are going to introduce another new recruit, Andrew Knightley. I am taking the names from characters in a favorite movie, but the characters are completely generated for the game and are not completely based upon the characters in the movie.

The attributes for characters in MSPE is Strength (ST), Luck (LK), Intelligence (IQ), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON), Charisma (CHR) and Speed (SP). You roll 3d6 for the attributes and if they don’t come up with all three numbers on the same roll (example: all 3s) then you add all three rolls together for the attribute score. If the three dice all come up the same number, you roll 2d6 and add those rolls to the first set. I ended up rolling this on my CHR roll, Three 5s came up so I rolled two more dice (3 and 1) for a total of 19). After this section the RAW has me fill in some character basics such as name, race, nationality, level, description, et. The Hand to Hand adds score is determined by DEX, ST or LK while the Missile adds is only benefited by a high LK. Money uses the same 3d6 triples technique that we used to determine attributes and then timed by 1,000. Unfortunately I only rolled a total that started me out with $1100. Adventure points are a form of experience points and can be used to improve your skill levels. First-level characters start out at 0 AP.

This is a game that uses skills. Your character’s starting skill points is the is your IQ score. So Agent Knightly will have 13 skill points to spend. I liked that some skills were only attainable by higher IQ scores. However the pilot skill needing an IQ minimum of 14 with a Doctorate skill only needing an IQ of 13? How many times have we seen drunk or barely competent pilot in various shows? If I was a GM, I’d allow the pilot skill to be taken at a lower IQ (probably 12 or 13) without little convincing. As a new agent with some military background, I selected the appropriate skills. I saw some skills that could be assigned to Cate Archer in the No One Lives Forever video game series. I’ll have to write up her stats for this game.

In other RPG books, the equipment is listed pretty early in the books. In MSPE, the Provisions is in the later half of the book. When looking to equip Agent Knightly, I had to go through several pages before reaching the equipment section. Then it was mostly arms and armor. So I added what I thought would be prudent and considered the character ready to play..

With how high his CHR score is, Agent Knightley would almost be the “faceman” for the group. But he could work together or on solo missions if the need arises. The sheet is posted below.

Andrew Knightley character sheet

Afterthoughts:

I didn’t get a chance to go through the combat or chase rules for the game. So I’ll have to check those out later. But for the most part, the character creation process was pretty up front. It started out with a series of “Do This” steps with a “We will explain this in more detail later” response. I found this helpful when trying to create my first character for the game.

Additional Notes:

Added a livejournal (that’s still alive?) link for someone who is participating in the Character Creation Challenge. I’m still looking for other links.

Coming Up Next:

Star Trek Adventures by Modiphis

Posted in: Archer, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Technology, The Orville, Transformers

I still buy DVDs & Blu-rays

Raiders of the Lost TARDIS
Yes the search for bargains continue.

So in this modern day of streaming services, why would anyone still buy movies and TV shows on DVDs and Blu-Rays? There are many answers for this. I call my physical media my “Offline Versions” of my favorite shows. There have been times that the internet has failed to function properly (luckily not very often). There have also been times someone needs to stay off of the internet because of a project that takes up a lot of bandwidth. This is when the physical media comes in really handy.

Buying the disks has also become a catch phrase for me when reviewing a show. I remember after watching a stream of the Transformer’s movie “Bumblebee“, I stated that I would buy the movie on DVD. And the next time I saw a copy, I did just that. I also watched the Spy-Fi/Comedy series “Archer” on streaming first and I enjoyed it so much that I picked up the seasons on DVD.

The final reason that I still purchase DVDs is because then I always have a copy of the show so it’s at my fingertips. I’m not wondering “Is The Rocketter on Netflix or Hulu this month?” (spoiler: It’s not found on these services, it’s on Disney+). There have even been some shows that I haven’t been able to find on streaming at all.

Just the other day I was able to find DVDs for season eleven and twelve for the new Doctor Who series. I can’t wait to sit down and watch them. I can’t wait to watch the special features (which may or may not be on streaming).

Now don’t get me wrong. I love streaming services. I see some really off the wall shows on several services. It also gives me a chance to check out the movies that I might enjoy, but not really buy on DVD. Streaming services also give life to genre shows that might not find footing on network and cable television (such as the new Star Trek and the next season of The Orville). But I plan to continue to buy physical media in the near future.