Watchtower play test reflections

The recent posts about Watchtower were from a one-shot adventure I ran for my son’s gaming group. They’ve been playing (mostly) D&D together regularly for 3-4 years, and it was a good opportunity to test out the rules with a group that had no preconceptions. The players created Talos-class exotics (the middle of the three classes, which is still very powerful). A few things that I learned from this:

* We need to update our skills to reflect the Watchtower world
* Some power stunts are probably too powerful (looking at you, Chronatics)
* Definitely need to write the rules for Prototypes for high tech heroes

However, broadly speaking the system worked as intended, character creation was pretty quick and fun, and the game flowed easily. We’re going to attempt a variant using troupe play, where each of the players creates a trainee (sidekick?) Achilles-class exotic (the lowest class) to be paired with one of the other players, and in this way we get two different Watchtower teams, and the players get to try different powers and power levels.

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Watchtower SF: August 4th

Bergs in the Bay!

San Francisco Chronicle

Meteorologists were shocked today when a massive iceberg several miles long appeared off the coast of Marin County, seemingly on a collision course for the Golden Gate Bridge! “This iceberg cannot be a natural occurrence,” said Dr. Karl Limewall, Professor of Climatology at Caltech. “Nothing that large could have traveled from either pole to San Francisco without being spotted.”

Indeed, the Watchtower seemed to agree, dispatching six agents out to the iceberg as soon as it was spotted. It became clear why Windrunner was added to the team recently, as all team members were transported directly through the air rather than via a helicopter as might be more customary. The Chronicle was able to confirm that a combination of extreme digging and strategically placed explosives were able to reduce the iceberg to smaller and more manageable pieces, which were then destroyed or redirected away from the bridge.

Conga-line … of Doom!

San Francisco Examiner, Op. Ed.

Icebergs are one thing, but why is nobody talking about the impromptu parade today that took place in the north of San Francisco? Over 100,000 people “just felt like dancing” and danced all the way up Highway 101 and onto the Golden Gate bridge, completely halting traffic and putting themselves directly into harm’s way. And where was the Watchtower during all this? 110 year old Dr “I’m not a robot” Automaton landed in front of the crowd and shot a few people off into the water, including fellow teammate and old-timer, Captain Crackshot! Seriously, why are our lives in the hands of these geriatrics?

Not that the youngsters were much to be seen, seemingly having to spend all their time flying back and forth to the city to get instructions from the Overmind, Jack Whyte, before blowing up the looming iceberg. Great, happy we didn’t ‘berg the bridge, but are we going to get any answers as to who is controlling the minds of all the so-called Bridge Boogie Brigade? And what is Watchtower doing about it?

Power Outage in Western San Joaquin County

The San Joaquin Valley Sun

Around 800 homes and farms are still without power, following an outage at a local substation earlier this morning. Local officials are working to get power up and running, and they are confident everything will be back to normal within 24 hours. The cause of the outage is being put down to a freak storm, which blew up out of nowhere, dumped a load of rain and lightning and dissipated as quickly as it came. County Sheriff John Watson stated in a press conference earlier today that there was no cause for alarm, and that Watchtower had been alerted as part of standard procedure.
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Watchtower SF: some recent headlines

Whyte Buys Watchtower SF

San Francisco Chronicle, July 1st 2022

Jack Whyte, exotic and indestructible billionaire, adds Watchtower SF to his stable of Watchtower franchises. This brings his franchise total to four, starting in 2013 with the NYC franchise, and adding the Twin Cities in ’15 and Miami in ’19. “The San Francisco franchise of the Watchtower has a long history, with many beloved legends on the national and international stage,” said Whyte at press conference today. “I will bring the same level of oversight and investment as at my other franchises, and will work with local law enforcement to help keep the Bay Area and northern California safe from exotic crime.” He was joined at the press conference by several existing Watchtower members, all of whom confirmed they will be staying under the new management. This includes old-timers such as Captain Brian “Crackshot” Thomson, the bulletproof ex-cop; Dr Automaton, the robotic-bodied, long-standing leader of the Watchtower’s primary team; as well as some of the more recent additions like Tyrannus, our first visitor from another galaxy; and the shapeshifting, duplicating Primordial. No other personnel changes were announced. This correspondent hopes that Whyte’s experience, discipline and deep pockets can help prevent another tragedy like we suffered in ’99, when then-Watchtower leader Atomic III turned on the people he was sworn to protect and devastated the downtown area by using a commuter train like a missile. Maybe the new management will finally be able to determine what happened to that team back in the day? Either way, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Tower of Teens?

San Francisco Examiner, July 15th 2022, Op. Ed.

After buying his fourth Watchtower franchise in what is clearly a bid to control the whole company, Jack Whyte today announced that two local teenagers have been added to the roster. One who can control gravity, codenamed Windrunner, and the other who can control time, codenamed Kairos. Seriously, Jack? Are there not enough adult exotics to choose from that you have to employ kids? And do these kids’ parents even know what they are being exposed to? It’s long past time that we introduced laws preventing the exploitation of exotic abilities in people under the age of 21. What’s next, babies who can shoot lasers out of their eyes being used as mobile weapons platforms? The safety of our civilians shouldn’t come at the cost of our youth!
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Latest Project: Silver Haired Sentinels

I’ve been working on this for a while now – and just waiting on a few art pieces to be finished.

So, what is it?

Silver Haired Sentinels is a roleplaying game about the residents and staff of a Continuing Care Retirement Community. That would be interesting in itself but some of these Residents have a lot of history; they’re the surviving members of a vigilante team responsible for putting down villains and stopping global conspiracies in their youth.

They’ll be a core team and there will likely be visiting or replaced members. There’s an opportunity to relive past glories, revisit old rivalries and maybe even get some closure on things that didn’t work out in the past.

This game is directly inspired by:

  • Watchmen (Comic and Movie)
  • Kick The Can (from the Twilight Zone)
  • The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish (from Cloud Atlas)
  • Brindlewood Bay (roleplaying game)
  • New Tricks (TV series)

and by the general realisation that I’m closer to 70 years old than 25 years old.

The name itself is referential to Silver Age comics (and the name of the RPG Silver Age Sentinels).

So, it’s coming soon!

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[Hiring] Comic Book Superheroes for an RPG

Hi folks,
After a somewhat abortive attempt on Fiver to get some superhero art for my upcoming RPG, I thought I would try here.

I’m looking for panels which wouldn’t look out of place in “Planetary” (John Cassaday) or “Captain Britain” (the early Alan Davis). (I mean, just look at this stuff. It’s top notch.)

It doesn’t have to be new. I am as interested in your existing portfolio – and I should see stuff in your portfolio.

I’m not trying to get stuff on the cheap. I’m looking for an artist or two that I can work with for maybe a dozen or more pieces.

Depending on the art I’ve paid for before was $25-75 per piece.

Copyright should remain with the artist with the proviso of a license to use the pieces for my books and promotions. I’m strictly small press so let’s chat about it.

It’s mostly illustrations of how the powers work for the powers section.

Would like a link to portfolio and we can chat about rates.

1: I’m not looking for cheesecake. If I don’t see superheroes in your portfolio, well, that’s going to sway me. Sorry. I have a lot of profiles to go through.

2: if you don’t offer commercial licensing then don’t waste our time. I need to use this for a book that I make as a hobby sideline on DTRPG.]

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