Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Going Viral: Untold Goes Electronic

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of electronics. The Nook for example. I would never want a Nook. There is something about physically holding a book; the smell of the paper pages, the texture, even the worn and broken spine all contribute to part of my reading experience. Gaming is much the same for me, as well. While I like video games, I prefer table tops. I prefer to actually see the person I'm playing against; to actually hold the pieces, cards, or dice in my hands. And Untold is no exception. I love to actually hold the cards, sort through them, build decks. So, you're asking yourself, what could I possibly want with something like, say, the Untold PDFs? Well, I'm glad you asked. While I don't see them ever replacing my physical collection, I can see a number of uses in having the Untold PDFs. So, let's talk about them.

The first reason that jumps to mind is obvious: replacement cards. Let me go into little more detail. At this past years Imagicon and ConCarolinas, the Untold gang was really busy running multiple demos at a time, usually with packed tables in a packed gaming hall. So, with dozens of bodies coming and going, and the GMs (who were usually making up three or four games on the fly) constantly borrowing cards from each other, and not to mention the games we tried to have during our downtime, cards got misplaced. An Untold PDF is useful for printing off replacement cards. Missing a copy of a certain minion? Need an extra copy of a certain power? No problem, you've got it in PDF form.

Another good reason ties in with the first: Extra cards for demos. Once again, I've have several demos when I needed another L'na, or Klik, or Churl. The Untold PDF provides you with the original Starter Set for well under half the price of the physical version. This way, you can keep extra starter decks, minions, aspects, and banes in case you need more. Trust me, it's always a good idea to keep extras around.

Finally, my last reason to invest in Untold PDFs might be a little more eccentric, but to me, just as much of a valid point as the others. Ever been visiting friends or family and told them about Untold? Ever had those same friends or family actually want to play a game but you don't have your cards available? Got a computer handy? Then just download the Untold PDF, print it out and start up a game! Easy as that.

So, to wrap things up, Untold is ever expanding and growing; both with product and with fans. And the Untold PDFs help the Untold fanbase grow and expand in new ways. If you haven't invested in the PDFs yet, I highly suggest you do so.

That's it for this week. I've got other Untold projects to work on. Until next week, thanks for reading and have fun!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Left and the Right Brain and how it affects your Untold Character

Well, I know it's been a while. I didn't intend to let this thing slip, but life got in the way big time right before Christmas and right after New Years. It may have only been a month, but to me it's felt like several. I feel bad when I let personal issues get in the way of my Untold work, but sometimes things just can't be helped. So, anyways, I'm back and trying to get things back to "Business As Usual", and we have a lot of catching up to do with Untold. New products, new developments, all sorts of exciting things! But let's jump right into todays topic. Todays blog is going to be a short blog about what side of your brain is more dominant and how it affects your Untold game: everything from character builds to building a campaign.

So let me explain a little bit about where this topic came from before we explore it a little more. My wife was reading an article on how the different sides of the brain function and process information and ways of determining which side was your dominant side. She's more of a Left Brain person. Jennifer likes to reason things out; process and organize facts and data to understand things. Naturally she loves science and has two degrees to show it. Now, this doesn't mean she doesn't like more artistic or creative things; it just means that she processes information and learns in a particular fashion. We also discovered that I am very much a Right Brain person. I learn more through visual mediums, and tend to enjoy more of the arts such as literature and poetry. Not surprisingly I got my degree in the Liberal Arts. History if you're curious, and yes I consider History an artform. Now this doesn't mean that I don't like science or math (well, I don't like math) but that I prefer the more artistic mediums. So, this is all well and good but you're asking yourself how does this apply to Untold? Well, easy enough, just look at how you build your characters. This line of thinking can be applied in two ways. First, there is a general over arcing way of looking at this concept and then there is a more detailed way of looking at it.

The first way of applying this theory to Untold is as simple as looking at which of the six core races you prefer. Do you prefer the Klik? Then you're most likely a Left Brain kind of person. The Klik are very organized and orderly, a tool for every occasion. They, and through them their Players, process things by looking at the facts and putting them together. Do you prefer the L'na? Then you're most likely a Right Brain kind of person. The L'na are creative, chaotic, and tend to look at the bigger picture. Whether a Dawn or a Twilight, a L'na might tend to think more about not only how to solve a problem but the consequences of certain actions. Apocs are split right down the middle, Highbreds are more Left Brain characters with Churls being the opposite.

So, ok, this works in theory but what about application? Easy, let's look at how players would solve various problems. For example, Jennifer's playing her Klik "Tinker". The party she is in suddenly finds that there is a large bomb in the room and they need to do something about it. Tinker, and Jennifer being a Left Brain person, is going to immediately try to diffuse it, using tools, logic and technical skill. Now, let's put me and my Twilight "Shadow" in the same situation. Shadow is going to handle this one of two ways: 1.) Get the hell outta Dodge or 2.) Use Mind Control or Charm to take over a minion and make it take the bomb and quickly leave the room. To Jennifer, stopping the bomb is vital, because it is an immediate problem that needs to be solved. To me, the bomb is irrelevant, and it is either time to move on or give up. See how that works?

Alright, so how does this work for the GM? Easy, look at how the campaign is built and how the encounters are conducted. Tend to favor more traps? Tend to look at the more technical aspects of an encounter? Is there a clearly defined goal, such as prevent this one particular thing from occuring? Then you're a Left Brain GM. Tend to favor more aesthetics in a game? Tend to try to invoke a certain emotion like fear over doing damage in your encounters? Tend to have a broader goal for your game, like settling a dispute between parties or bringing down a Dark Lord (which is admittedly a specific goal, but with no specific solution)? Then you are a Right Brain GM.

Finally, there is a more detailed way of looking at the differences between Left Brain and Right Brain players. For example, I will on occasion play a Klik. But unlike Jennifer who likes to have all of her tools and trinkets, I prefer the more flexible and creative Enigma Engine and Alchemical Still. As far as building characters in general go, I take the more holisitic approach (a very Right Brain trait) and try to build a character of every type. Jennifer, however, is more happy with tweaking her one single character than having several different ones.

So, to wrap things up: which side are you? Left or Right? I am very interested to know what you think about this blog and about your own conclusions about this idea.

Otherwise, that's it for this week. Over the next few weeks, we're going to be looking at some new Untold products and some other developments, as well as some glimpses into some of the behind-the-scenes parts of Untold, such as how to do ecologies. Sorry it took me so long to crank this sucker up, but thanks for being understanding. Hope everyone had a good New Year. Until next week, thanks for reading and have fun.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One Year Later - Untold's First Year, In Review

So, technically, Untold hasn't reached its first year quite yet. I'll do an official "Year Later" blog in April to discuss the actual one year anniversary. However, sitting at the edge of the new year (and possibly the last if the Mayans had it right), one can't help but look back over the past year. And since this is an Untold blog, I'll be looking back at Untold's first year. No card mechanics or combos, no building encounters or bad guys. Just a simple reminiscing.

Now, I've known the Wandering Men going on four years now. And I've told the story of how I got into Untold so many times, and I'm sure you're all tired of hearing it. But I remember very clearly the day I found that Untold was officially released. See, Jennifer and I had signed on as Beta Testers, and for nearly a year, we talked it up to friends and family, wrote ecologies and articles. And finally, Ashy made the announcement in the rainy month of April that Untold was officially released. I for one was impressed that not only did Untold release, but released with a large number of products available as well. April was a wet and rainy, but it didn't keep us from setting up C.U.B.E.'s and spreading the word.

Before we knew it, Summer had set in and the con season was upon us. Mobicon, in Mobile Alabama, was Untold's first official con after the release. I remember a lot nervousness and hesitancy going into that con. I didn't sleep the night before the con was set to open. I remember thinking that it could be a big step for Untold. So, that Friday came, and in the blistering sun and sweltering humidity (nothing new for the Gulf Coast), we set up the WM Booth and I hit the Gaming Hall. We were scheduled to do 6 demos, and wound up doing 11. Mobicon was a lot of fun and we were exhausted by the end of it.

Imagicon proved to be just as popular but in far worse environs. Because of where the gaming room was, you had to literally yell to speak to the person next to you. However, Untold remained extremely popular and we had a real heartfelt moment at the end of it. Sunday afternoon, we were packing up the booth and saying our goodbyes to the team members as we all went our separate ways for a few weeks. As we were leaving, I had someone approach me who had sat through a demo with me the day before. He had a rules question. Apparently, a couple of the guys there were setting up an Untold game in the now barren Merchants Room, to get a little more play time before the party was completely over. That moved us in such a way, I can't even describe it.

The final big con of the summer (for me atleast) was ConCarolinas in Charlotte. It didn't start out great. We converged on North Carolina in the wee hours of the morning, with Cap and his wife being gracious enough to open their home to admittedly a bunch of weird folks so that we could rest and prepare for the weekend to come. We were all disappointed Friday when we arrived. They had set up our booth right in the gaming room. But we made the best of a bad situation and set up for the demos. The first day was pretty quiet. Around 7 pm, we were beginning to talk about closing up shop, but were bombarded by folks who wanted to play Untold. We had three games going that night and the booth was doing a lot of good business. We didn't finish up until 11 that night, and had a lot of fun. That was the weekend that Hall first unveiled his skills as a GM on an admittedly tired group.

But this year wasn't all about cons. We had a lot happening on the home fronts as well. Untold picked up two official retailers, in Pensacola Florida and Leeds Alabama. I don't know how many products we've released either, but we had some great ones. Some of my favorites were the Gifts of Maoru, Triple Threat: Slugs and Steel and Primal Powers. We had the opening of the Untold: Elite and even picked up some fans in Canada and Britain.

This first year has been amazing for Untold, but what about the next? Well, Untold is still growing and struggling to put its root down. We've all done our share but I feel like I could do more, and I plan to this next year. I want to get Untold to be a regular fixture at my FLGS again. I also plan to do more C.U.B.E.'s with the help of LK and the other folks in the area. I look forward to upcoming con season and want to help out again if possible. I also really want to help the community, both on and off line grow however I can.

All in all, this last year has been good to Untold. And I know that Untold has made this year good for me. One of the reasons we play games like this is to spend time with friends and family, and Untold has provided me with a large number of friends to share Untold and other things with. I look forward to what Untold and the Wandering Men have in store for us this next year, and I look forward to the work we'll all be doing to help Untold grow.

That's going to wrap it up for this week. Next week starts a New Year and a new blog. Not sure what the New Year will bring either for this game or for me and my blog, but you'll be one of the first to know. I do want to say thanks to everyone who reads and enjoys this blog. Thanks for encouraging me to do it and thanks for sharing my favorite hobby with me. Until next week, thanks for reading and have a safe and happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's an Untold Christmas Blog, Brannon Hollingsworth!

Alright, sorry for not posting one last week, but I was beat. Looks like that'll be the last time I miss a blog for a while, so I guess that's a good thing. So, this week's blog is a present for Ashy: how to build a good role-playing encounter for Untold. Now, I'm going to be the first to say that building a good rp'ing encounter can be very difficult. If you're anything like me, then you usually make it up as you go along with a general direction in mind. However, encounters like this can be planned and prepared for. I am also a very strong believer that a good rp encounter is composed of two primary things: good players/gm's and the right cards and abilities. Keeping this in mind, I'm going to discuss the general lay out of our encounter, and some cards that would be useful in how the encounter would possibly unfold.

Now, the general premise of this encounter is relatively simple, but simultaneously complex: A Highbred soldier is going to infiltrate and investigate the disappearance of a L'na friend (another player in the party), and attempt a rescue of the wayward companion, without seriously harming or killing any of his highbred compatriots. Now, this encounter is going to start out peacefully and end with a daring escape. However, rp'ing is going to be heavy, and the over-arching goal is going to be to rescue the party member without killing anyone.

I'm going to focus primarily on three different cards for the rping section, and five different cards for the daring escape at the end. The cards I'll be focusing on are Diplomatic, Beguiling Speech, and Verbose. However, keep in mind, the Gifts of Maoru has a whole boat load of cards that could really shine in this setting. When it comes to obtaining information through peaceful means, L'na Twilights are the undisputed masters. But I'll talk more about those at another time. The Highbred hero in question is going to have to find out a way to locate where his friend is being held prisoner, talk his way into the prison, and bust his friend out.

Now, Diplomatic is a useful card, but it's better reinforced with Beguiling Speech and Verbose. Diplomatic is a great way to get a foot in the proverbial door, but Beguiling Speech and Verbose can blow the door off the proverbial hinges. Beguiling Speech can make a target friendly and helpful, and Verbose can leave a target as dazed and confused as a Churl reading a Jane Austen novel. A great way to add on to this combo is the card Endless Calm, which can add its MAG to an Aspect boost bonus. So, with some good rolls, the talking your way into the L'na's prison should be fairly easy. But how are we going to get out?

This is where the situation gets a little more violent and dangerous, but remember, there is still a good amount of rping involved. The primary cards involved in this are going to be Grapple, M201 Assault Weapon, M422 Glue Grenades, Smoke Grenades, and the XR3 Tranquilizer Gun. Now, the cards like Grapple, the Grenades, and the Tranq. Gun are all well in good, but how is an Assault Weapon harmless, you ask? Well, I'm getting to that part. Grapple, Smoke Grenades and the XR3 Tranq. Gun are going to be used primarily by the character who's going to be doing the rescuing the wayward companion. Grapple is a good close quarters card, and can leave a target immobile. The Smoke Grenades are an excellent stalling and cover tactic, and the Tranq. Gun neutralizes targets without killing them. The M201 Assault Weapon is necessary to use the M422 Glue Grenades and also provide cover/suppressive fire to help our Highbred hero and the imprisoned party member escape the actual base and meet up with the rest of party.

Alright, so we've got the actual cards we need for this encounter, but how is it going to play out? Well the prologue is that the party strays a little too close a highbred base. A patrol catches the party off guard and a member of the party is captured and taken to the base for questioning and possibly study. So the party is left with the task of infiltrating the base and springing the wayward member from prison and linking up with the party to escape into the night.

With this in mind, the Highbred Hero is going to take two days to infiltrate the base, locate the captured compatriot, and spring them from the prison and meet up with the party. On the first day, the Highbred stumbles onto the base under the guise of being a lost scout escorting a supply convoy from Base A to Base B. Beset by baddies, the Highbred was forced to flee once he determined the situation was hopeless. Through some miracle, he found this base and needs to rest and refit. As the day passes, he begins to ask questions and make friends with some of the locals, using the cards like Diplomatic and Beguiling Speech to locate the location of the captured party member. Over night, he breaks into the armory to obtain some new gear (perhaps using Stealthy and Mad Hops?) and gains the Smoke Grenades and the XR3 Tranquilizer Gun, and sneaking an M201 Assault Weapon and Glue Grenades to a predetermined location and leaving them for other members of the party to find. On the next day, he waits until the base does a guard change, close to the time a majority of the personnel would be on the other side of the base at the mess hall or something similar. Once again, using Diplomatic, Beguiling Speech, and Verbose, the Highbred Hero talks his way into the prison (maybe with a little help from Endless Calm) and the action begins. Using the Tranq. Gun and Smoke Grenades, the two party members make a mad flight for the safety of the wilderness while another member of the party, from an unseen vantage point, uses the Glue Grenades and the M201 to lay down suppressive fire and stalls pursuers.

Now, it may not sound like much the way it is now, but when actually played, this scenario could be very dangerous but a lot of fun. Ofcourse, as is the case with most games, players and GMs may have to improvise to compensate for bad rolls and the like. As you can most likely tell, I'm not great about putting ideas like this into print, but rather am better working with a group of people and kind rolling with the punches, so to speak. But I hope you enjoyed. This is going to be an idea I'm really going to try and develop with this blog for two reasons: 1.) To make this blog more diverse and enjoyable for readers, as they look for ways to expand their Untold experience and 2.) To make me a better Untold GM.

To wrap things up, serious role-playing encounters are fairly simple to build in Untold. With a variety of useful power cards, good minions, and some creativity, a quality rp encounter can be put together relatively quickly and a good time can had by all.

For once, I know what next weeks subject will be: A Year In Review, a look back at Untold's first official year. I'll be taking a look at the highlights of this past year, for me atleast, and would love to know about your favor Untold moments of the last year. Until next week, thanks for reading and have fun! And Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Holiday Get-Together: Building An Untold Encounter

Well, as Jennifer so clearly pointed out, I've been doing a lot of character builds lately. And apparently so much so, that I've run that topic into the ground. So, we're going to change gears a bit and go to a different subject: Encounters. As a GM, I understand that encounters make or break a campaign. If they become too numerous or too large, players may become frustrated. If they are too far between, the players may become bored. So, you need to strike the right balance. Are you running a meat grinder? Or a puzzle solver? But this post isn't going to cover the quantity of encouters in a campaign, as that can be a fluid number. Instead, we're going to tackle the quality of encounters.

Quality encounters can be difficult, as you REALLY have to plan for them. But, luckily with Untold, planning is very easy. I would consider most quality encounters to consist mostly of minions, reinforced by complimenting powers. A quality encouter should also pose a definite threat to the Characters. This doesn't mean that it should a TPK, but rather should be capable of inflicting significant damage on the party. So, bearing this in mind, let's start to build our encounter.

First, let me preface this with saying that you should work with minions and powers you are comfortable with. You need to be intimately familiar with the abilities of minions and powers that you'll be employing, to help answer any question and clear up any problems that your players might possibly encounter. For me, I am most comfortable working with Flux Horrors and Flux Horror powers. In almost every campaign, I employ atleast one major section with Flux, because I love the Lovecraftian feel of Flux Horrors. But I strongly encourage you to use the minion cards that you like.

Alright, so let's take a look at the minions I'm going to be working with are going to be Flux Horrors. This encounter is going to be a major encounter, but not the final one. This is actually intended to be an early boss fight for characters starting at 50 UP. Now, as cannon fodder, we're going to be using four Infested Churls. When compared to other minions, especially other Flux Horrors, Infested Churls are really minor annoyances. However, if left unchecked, minor annoyances can become game changers. Remember, even a pawn can capture a king. The next minion we're going to be using is one of my favorites, the Howling Horror, and we'll be using three of these. Howling Horrors can be really powerful, and very obnoxious. They inflict the Despair bane, but when stacked, Despair can become Insane in one round. I'm going to bolster them a little, by giving them all the Horrible Foes card. Horrible Foes inflicts a penalty equal to the cards MAG to any rolls made by non-Externals. This can be a real pain. Plus, they give you a +4 Initiative, which can give you a definite edge.

Now, we're going to move on to the heavy hitters. We're going to have two real powerhouses in this encounter. A summoned Rift Ripper, which is trouble for anybody. Rift Rippers have the ability to rip chunks of MAG out of its victims, in the neighborhood of 32 MAG per round. If that wasn't bad enough, I'm throwing on a Flux Warp 2 and an Insane Aura 2. Flux Warp can inflict Impaired, and Insane Aura drains Mind boost and can drive a target Insane. Rift Rippers are just bad news. But the real threat in this encounter is going a Weaver of Despair. Weavers are really unsuspecting minions at first glance. They have the IP: Dread Fate, which can either drain a Character or inflict Despair-Insane on a target. I prefer the second ability, but its a personal preference. However (and this may be a typo), the boost is for Body. Well, whatever. Weavers are real dark horses, because once they get going, they don't stop. And they are difficult to kill. I'm going to reinforce this Weaver with Feed on Chaos. Feed on Chaos will provide a very problematic healing ability. I'm also going to throw in the Hot Swap Feed on Sanity which has a similar ability. Finally, we're also going to use the Hot Swap Eye of the Beyond, to reinforce the Weavers IP. So, we have two big baddies. The Rift Ripper is very much the offensive beast, but the Weaver allows the GM some battlefield control (by creating chaos, ironically). The Ripper is the blunt hammer meant to shatter a party physical. But the Weaver is meant to break the party's moral.

To wrap this up, this encounter would go pretty rough. With good leadership and decent rolls, a party could probably carve through this encounter and come out relatively okay. Less experienced or more blunt characters might have a tough go of things. But keep in mind this is just an early boss fight. A turning point in the plot line. But it does what it is required to do, which is instill fear and worry in the Characters for the next encounter. And they say GM's can't have fun! I guess my final comments would be to really put some thought in your encounters, atleast your major ones, like this. Not every encounter needs this much planning and forethought. Random Encounter #37, with a pair of Crag Crawlers and an Apoc Mountain Goat doesn't need a lot of planning. But on the other hand, it took me all of five minutes to throw that encounter together.

So, that'll wrap it up for this week. Not sure what we'll tackle next week. Once again, taking suggestions. If you liked this installment, please let me know. I would love to more in the future. Until next time, thanks for reading and have fun!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Steampunk Tuesday: Klik Gadgets

Today is Steampunk Tuesday, the day after Cyber Monday, and that means that your special today is Klik! Keeping in the tradition of Cyber Monday, Steampunk Tuesday will cover all of the coolest Klik gadgets and toys (well, whatever I've got in my box atleast). We'll be building two great Klik builds to show the flexibility and diversity that Klik have. You can learn about everything you need to know about Klik here: http://www.untoldthegame.com/ss/race/klik

Klik are probably my second favorite race. They usually have a tool for everything, and a majority of these tools can double as weapons. Klik are extremely versatile, just like L'na, and can do everything from support to front line fighting. On a personal note, I prefer Rollers but my wife, who is a Klik fanatic, prefers Tripods. I just can't say enough about the versatility of Klik, so I'll just have to show you.

So let's start off with Rollers. For me, Rollers are meant to do two things: Support and Control. A Roller needs to be able to help out the other party members, but also should be strong enough to control the flow of battle as well other things. The Klik Roller I've built for you today does exactly that! So, let's take a look at the Character Deck:

Total UP- 70

Character Deck- 56 UP

Klik Roller
Mind 3
Soul 3
Alchemical Still
Clockwork Communion
Dispatch Array
Eidetic Memory
Enigma Engine
Horologic Instruments
Jury Rig
Klik Armor Plating
Microgear Medic Disc
Quick Response
Shoulder Mounted Launcher (SML)
SML Dart
Wheel Enhancement

Ok, so just with the Character Deck alone, there isn't a lot that this Roller can't do. Alchemical Still is a pre-req card that has some very useful abilities and is extremely flexible, as is the Enigma Engine. The Enigma Engine (if you will recall) is perhaps my favorite Klik card. It can literally bend reality to your will, and give a definite edge over your opponents. Clockwork Communion, Dispatch Array, and Mechanic are very valuable, especially when dealing with other Klik. The SML is a very useful tool, with the Dart providing a damaging weapon and the Net a great stalling tactic. I just can't say enough about what this Roller can do, and we haven't even hit the Swap Buffer. Finally, the QRC is pretty decent: Mind 4/4/5, Soul 3/4/3, VIT:2*. So, now let's take a peek at the Swap Buffer:

Swap Buffer- 14 UP

Acid Stream
Displacement Field
Grappling Hook
Null Pulse
Spatial Distortion
Temporal Disjunction
Tighten Windings
vv312d Energy Ray
Wheel Hooks

Ok, so once again, the Swap Buffer has some neat tricks. Cards like Displacement Field, Spatial Distortion, and Temporal Disjunction all provide battlefield control. But the Swap Buffer is where this Roller has some serious bite. The Flamethrower, Null Pulse, and Energy Ray can all lay down the hurt. The Flamethrower is especially dangerous in closed quarters. Acid Stream is very dangerous as well, as it will continue to do damage until washed off. So all in all, this Roller is a great support Character but can deal some serious damage when needed. But while that is all well and good, the next character we're going to look at is going to be the Klik version of raw destruction.

Tripods are like Churls and L'na Dawns, they are destruction incarnate. Whereas Rollers are specialized and supporting, Tripods are strong and in the middle of the fray. Jennifer loves her Tripods, and it's easy to understand why. However, I like to refer to Tripods in the same way I refer to Highbred, they are smart fighters. Sure they can take a beating and definitely dish one out, but they can also do alot of other things besides handing out pain. So, let's start take a look at our Tripods Character Deck:

Total UP- 70

Character Deck- 53 UP

Klik Tripod
Body 3
Soul 2
Arc Coils
Claw Shears
Iron Will
Microgear Medic Disc
Quick Response
Reinforced Klik Plating
Steam Engine

Simple and Straight-forward, this Tripod is meant to move right into the thick of things and start making it thinner. The Claw Shears and Saw can literally cut out massive amounts of MAG, while cards like Driven, Fearless and Iron Will make sure it stays in battle long enough to do it. The QRC is pretty tough: Body 4/3/7, Soul 2/2/3, VIT: 4*. Ok, so it isn't as strong or tough as the Churl, but Tripods are not meant to be pure meat...er, metal shields. They are meant to do other things as well. However, because the cards so far as pretty costly, the Tripod may seem brutish but otherwise unimpressive. However, after putting some more points into it, I would add the Micro Assembler, which allows the Tripod to do amazing things! But on to the Swap Buffer now:

Swap Buffer- 17 UP

Electrified Body
Steam Jet
Tech Surge

Short, simple and to the point. The Swap Buffer is focused entirely around the Arc Coils card. I added 1 more UP than the highest UP in the Buffer, in case I need to use multiple cards at one time. The Swap Buffer is really just for adding an extra damage if needed. I love the Arc Coils card because of what powers it opens up. And there is a great combo hiding in this deck. Try combining Electrified Body with Saw when making an attack and see what happens. You'll love it.

For whatever reason, with Tripods, it has been my experience that when building them you always lay a groundwork build and then add on greatly from there. Unlike other races, Tripods always require a good bit of assembly in the formative early stages. But don't worry, they are worth the work you put into them.

So that wraps up our Klik builds. Like I said in my last blog, my main focus has always been the L'na, but I love everything to do with Untold and wanted to attempt other character builds. I hope you enjoyed them. Now, before we close it out, let me talk about an Untold special just in time for the holidays! New Starter Sets have been released that focus entirely on the three Untold core races. You can read all about these special starters here: http://www.untoldthegame.com/forum/three-new-starter-sets-released. These are great gift ideas to help someone get into Untold. And all of these decks can be reinforced with other decks, making the ultimate Untold gift.

That's going to wrap it up for this week. No idea what I'll be doing next week, but expect a late blog since I'll have to work. I'm taking suggestions for topics, so let me know what you want to see. Until then, thanks for reading and have fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pilgrims and Indians: An Untold Thanksgiving!

Well, friends, this has been a rough past few days. I have a new job at the local Academy Sports and have been working like crazy (holiday shopping started early). The wife and I visited her dad in New Orleans and went to the Louisiana Ren Faire. And honestly, I'm a little under the weather, probably the combination of mead and beer, lack of sleep, driving long distances, and standing for long periods of time in a retail setting. Looks like I need to throw a few more UP into Body and Resilient...Anyways, let's get it started before I decide it isn't worth it.

It occured to me this afternoon that I haven't really focused on the Apoc or the Klik. So, this weeks blog is going to focus on the Apoc and next weeks will focus on Klik building. Please keep in mind that I am by no means a master of either. While I love everything about Untold, and can function relatively well with various characters, my primary focus has been the L'na. But because I believe in diversity, I want to attempt two Apoc builds. And once again, keep in mind that I'll be building with the cards I have access to, and these builds could be greatly enhanced by the decks Lock'n'Load, Melee Weapons, and Apoc Amplifications. Keep in mind that you can read more about the Apoc here: http://www.untoldthegame.com/ss/race/apoc! So, let's take a look at the builds!

We'll start it off with the Apoc Churl. I REALLY like Churl, because for the most part, they're bipedal L'na. Churl are rough and violent, capable of taking a lot of MAG and dealing more out. Churl are the undisputed physical fighters, but have an arcane side as well. I'll be trying to balance it out into a Churl that can fill a multitude of roles. Both builds are going to be based on 70 UP. Here's what the Character Deck is looking like:

Character Deck- 50 UP
Apoc Churl
Body 2
Soul 2
Churl Warbow
Club of the Ancestors
Desert's Blessing
Iron Will
Mountain's Blessing
Quick Response
Stone's Bones

Ok, it's a little all over the place. The Warbow and Club are both devastating weapons, Desert's and Mountain's Blessings are pre-req's with good abilities. Driven, Fearless, Iron Will, and Resilient can all go to making sure your Churl stays in a fight. And finally, Mountain's Blessing, Stone's Bones and Strong all add either VIT or Body Boosts. The QRC is pretty rough: Body 1/1/10, Soul 2/2/2, VIT: 8* (Will vary according to certain Hot Swaps or if it receives physical attacks). Ok, so I hope you're a good roller, because you're not going to get much of a modifier on physical hits, but cards in the Hot Swap can add to it. And if he hits, it's going to be hard. You can easily reach the max boost of 24 with the War Club, but could easily boost it up to 50. And you can thank my dear wife for requiring the "max boosts" on certain cards. In beta testing, she once did 30 MAG with a Claws attack. So, in the physical arena, the Churl is a force of nature. Lets take a look at the Swap Buffer:

Swap Buffer - 20
Adrenalin Push
Earth Control
Heat Wave
Knock'Em Back
Lava Maw
Mad Hops
Sand Storm
Shrug It Off
Sunder The Earth

Alright, so once again, the Churl's Swap Buffer is a lesson in raw destruction. Cards like Eruption, Lava Maw, and Sunder the Earth especially can cause massive amounts of MAG; while cards like Heat Wave and Sand Storm make the battlefield hell for all those who can't take the heat. However, Adrenaline Push, Charge, Grapple, Mad Hops, and Shrug It Off all shine in physical combat. So either way you look at it, the Churl is an engine of destruction.

Now on to the Highbred. Highbreds are really unfamiliar territory for me. I've played Klik, Churl, and ofcourse L'na, but never Highbred, so we'll see how this goes. Once again, the Highbred is going to be filling a variety of roles, but mainly fire-support. Here's how the Character deck lays out:

Character Deck- 54 UP

Apoc Highbred
Body 1
Mind 1
Soul 1
Commando Training, Basic
Field Medic Pack
Hunter's Hearing
Iron Will
M422 Glue Grenades
M8 "S1" Carbine
NAU Light Combat Armor
Quick Response
Ranged Specialist
Smoke Grenades
Tactical Prowess

Ok, so the Character deck focuses on three things: 1.) Battlefield Control 2.)Staying Ability 3.) Stalling Ability. I tried to attempt some form of balance with the Character Deck, a character that can reinforce the party in a multitude of ways. The only real weapon is the Carbine, but the Glue and Smoke Grenades are great stalling tactics. The other cards try to give the Highbred an edge, like Quick Response, Awareness, Resilient, Stealthy, Hunter's Hearing, Tactics and Tactical Prowess. Alright, so let's look at the Swap Buffer:

Swap Buffer- 16 UP

Accelerated Evasion
Adrenalin Push
Evasive Guard
Fireteam Attack
Hail of Gunfire
Knock'Em Back
Mad Hops
Shrug It Off

Ok, so once again, the Swap Buffer does a few neat tricks. Fireteam Attack and Hail of Gunfire are great ways to "finish" a battle. Grapple, Knock'Em Back, Adrenalin Push and Shrug It Off are great for those instances when an enemy closes. Mad Hops, Evasive Guard and Accelerated Evasion are great defensive powers to put more space between you and the target.

So there you have it, two Apoc builds meant to perform two very specific roles. Meat shield in the case of the Churl, and fire support in the case of the Highbred. This was pretty unfamiliar territory for me, folks, but thanks for sticking it out. I hope this gives you some help or insight into building your own Apoc characters.

Alright, so whether you know it or not, this Thursday is Thanksgiving in the U.S. And while I'm not thankful that I have to work on Black Friday (and if any of you go out shopping and contribute to that madness, you are dead to me), I do have a list of things I am thankful for, all Untold stuff ofcourse.

I am thankful for a fun and flexible RPG that is super fast to learn and play. I am thankful for an RPG that is very affordable and listens to the wants and needs of its fans. I am thankful for a RPG that doesn't require me to be a professional weightlifter to take my collection to gaming sessions. And finally, I am thankful for the friends (aw, hell, let's call 'em "family") that this RPG has given me in the process. I know, corny, but I get all sentimental around the holidays. Seriously though, please enjoy your holidays and spend time with friends and loved ones (not shopping!). Next week, we'll be tackling the Klik, both tripods and rollers. Until then, thanks for reading and have fun!