Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Rucht Hour: The Threats of Alpha Wolf Pack

Last week, we got to peek at the Alpha Wolf Pack character sheet. This week, I thought I'd let you guys peek at one of the threats of the World of 2359:


Worms are formally known as temporal entities or T.E.s. This species of alien life appears to be actively hostile to the human race. It is believed that they possess some form of intelligence, though it is unknown to what degree this is the case. Social scientists point out that Worms appear to have no culture, construct no artifacts, and use no tools. At the same time, they appear to understand human language and are known for targeting key systems on ships and bases.

Worms were first discovered around the planet of Gorgon, one of two habitable planets in the Barnard’s Star system. They were discovered approximately one Terran year after the first science stations were founded on the surface of the planet. The first encounters with the Worms were exceedingly deadly. The entire science team that was planet side during the assault died, save one.

The site of the attack was a science station, known as EO6. It is now considered to be a no-go zone for all Terran personnel. Amongst the Wolf Pack Squadrons, the infamous science station is known as the “Ghost Pit” and has gained an almost legendary status in space lore.

Worms are often terrifying for those who encounter them, due to their strange ability to bypass the laws of time and space. Watching these beings travel back and forth through time, pass through solid objects, and occupy two places at once often proves disconcerting for those observing them. 

Worms take a variety of forms, but the most common is that of giant maggots which flow through space as if it were water. Their hooked mouths constantly open and close, continually chewing. Most advanced forms of Worms appear to be giant maggots with multiple limbs, though each of these limbs appears to be comprises of smaller Worms. Finally, there are the “sliders” which appear to be humanoid beings composed of swarming Worms that continually roil in space. 

So, there's some of the fluff. Let's look at some of the rules involves with Worms. The Worms get a number of special abilities. We call these Stunts in Alpha Wolf Pack. Player characters get Stunts as well. The Director also gets a number of story abilities called Incidents. They are a limited resource that he can play on characters and on the units they control. The reason Incidents are separate from Stunts are because they allow the Director to radically alter the story, setting, or part of a unit not just give his bad guys extra abilities. Here's an example of some incidents for Worms specifically. 

I’m Already Dead!
One or more a unit’s men has seen themselves dead. Pass a Leadership skill test or your unit gains the Horrified condition. Your unit has gained the horrified condition. This means that, to take action, you must pass a Leadership test first. If you take on a Crucible, you may eliminate this condition.

Separated in Time
A commander or her unit (or both) disappear into the past for a time. This may mean that they miss a scene or a round of Tactical Combat. While they are back in time, they are able to interact with the people and events there for a short period.

A time schism occurs, possibly slicing people in half or damaging equipment. Unit takes damage 3d6+6. Proper use of an Authority Skill in a one-off scene lowers the damage to 2d6+4. An outstanding roll or roleplaying can reduce the damage as well. Both a successful roll and good roleplaying bring the damage down to 1d6+2.

Man Out of Time
A single soldier slips out of time, but returns! He is shocked and horrified at what he saw. A dramatic scene might pull some more information out of him!

Loop Around
The platoon encounters an already damaged enemy (half Stress). When it is killed, it later appears in the game at full health, only to disappear when half of its Stress is done to it in damage.

Loop Forwards
Cause a damaged enemy to disappear - it may reappear anywhere or at anytime later.

Future Man
A character from the past appears amongst one of the Wolf Pack units. The group as limited time to interact with him before he disappears into the past again. Until then, the unit can protect the man just like an asset. They use crowd control to move the past-character and must protect him as well. 

Remember, to activate this ability, the Director must spend one of his incidents to do so. What's fun about this is that different threats will have different lists of incidents, making each one distinctive in tone and flavor. We'll get more into Crucibles and Incidents next time! 


  1. This is really cool, I am really digging what you got going on here. There seems to be enough juicy fluff behind these guys alone to make some sweet adventures, and the stunts thing can make things very interesting very quick. I look forward to seeing more of this project flesh out.

  2. Dude, How are you posting this stuff while on vacay in Hawaii?

    1. Schedule feature, duh. I've got Thor's Day Hero posts scheduled all the way until this same time next year.

      It's good when you're on a blogging roll, queue up a bunch of posts then pace their release.