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Metamorphosis Alpha – Blank Character Sheet & Bonus Pregenerated Characters

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The new edition of Metamorphosis Alpha is now in stores and in the hands of Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers. To help everyone jump in and start playing, we have a couple of quick aids you can print and use immediately!

A group of five pre-generated characters for use by players, including artwork by Lindsay Archer:

MA-RPG-pregencharsA blank copy of the character sheet to make your own mutants:

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And here is the free Preview that teachers players the basic rules of the game:

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Thanks to everyone so far who has purchased the game and offered reviews and feedback! We love to know what you think of the System 26 rules set and the new edition of Metamorphosis Alpha. Game on!

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Kudzilla

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Jamie here! I grew up in north Georgia, and spent lots of time fighting back the creeping vine that is everywhere down here: Kudzu. If you drive on the backroads and byways you’ll see trees, telephone poles, abandoned houses, and old cars completely blanketed by this plant and only visible by shape.

In honor of this menace, we present Kudzilla—a mutant monstrosity for the new Metamorphosis Alpha RPG! You can ask for the game at your local retailer or get it directly from us. Click on the link for the bonus content … KUDZILLA!

 

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Find Us At Dragon*Con!

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Once again Signal Fire Studios is part of our hometown convention, Dragon*Con! If you’re in Atlanta for Labor Day weekend, come see us in the Dealer Room, AmericasMart Building Two on Level Two—right next to Twilight Creations! (And while you’re there, grab the latest expansion to Zombies!!! or one of their other fantastic games.) We’ll have our games and books and some fun micro-games and other fun products out on the table with us. At night, come have a drink and song with us at karaoke by Sho Nuff Enterinment—Friday, Saturday, and Sunday one level down from the lobby of the Hilton.

We don’t have official demo games on the schedule, but we may put together a quick table of Metamorphosis Alpha or one of our card games if there is enough interest. Comment below or send Jamie a note on Twitter if you’d like to play at the show!

Dragon*Con 2014 Booth
Dragon*Con 2014 Booth
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What the Heck is System 26?

System 26 Logo

This week we launched the digital edition of the new Metamorphosis Alpha Roleplaying Game to strong sales and great response. (Thank you to those who backed our Kickstarter and jumped on-board early to check out our game!) It has been a mix of nostalgia for the classic 1976 version, enthusiasm for the “mutants on a spaceship” concept, and interest in this mysterious new rules engine called System 26™.

Lots of gamers interested in the system have been asking about System 26 to see if it matches their preferred styles of play. Rather than cut and paste an answer into a bunch of emails and forum posts, here is a quick overview.

Core Ideas

System 26 is intended to be a core set of mechanics that can be adapted to many different genres and styles. While no game engine is perfect for everything, the idea is to be able to accommodate most games that can be easy to learn with action that moves fast and quickly. It can be tuned up with more “crunch” for an old-school RPG feel (like Metamorphosis Alpha) or down for abstract, story-driven games that we plan to explore in the future. But it’s certainly a rules-light RPG, where the rules can be learned and only referenced occasionally.

d6 Dice Pool With Variable Difficulty

You only need standard six-sided dice for System 26 — gamer’s choice whether you prefer pips or numbers. And there’s one starting assumption that’s hidden in the very name of the game:

Unless it’s written on your character sheet, you are probably rolling two dice for an action.

Characters are defined in the ways they are extraordinary, actions at which they excel or routinely fail. And actions are defined by Traits, that always modify that basic roll of 2d. The game doesn’t care if your character is naturally gifted, trained, studied hard, or you learned kung fu by a jack plugged into the back of your head. That’s all window dressing and can be worked out through description and roleplaying. Qualities are situational, and only come into play under specific circumstances or define your character outside the realm of action. When your character performs an action, you-as-player roll a pool of dice—the standard 2d dice pool—more or less as modified by traits and qualities. Under normal circumstances a dice pool cannot go beyond five, though games that use things like superpowers or mutations or advanced technology may increase it. If modifying factors drag you down to less than one die, you’ve failed before you even tried.

Success & Failure

Difficulty for an action is broken into three simple categories: easy, average, hard. The minimum number needed to score achievements varies by difficulty. In a cinematic-action oriented game like Metamorphosis Alpha you need 3 or higher for an easy action, 4+ for average, 5+ for hard. (A more gritty incarnation might push those numbers up to 4, 5, 6.) A single achievement counts as bare-minimum success (hanging by your fingernails at the edge of the cliff) with up to three achievements for a respectable outcome. Anything above three achievements scores enhancements — think critical hits in other games but applies to all kinds of actions, not just combat. (You kick down the door and knock over the guard standing on the other side.) But in short, the more achievements you score, the more awesome happens.

If you don’t score any achievements, you fail at the action. If you roll snakes eyes (all 1s) you’ve got yourself an epic fail—a botch. (You fumble and drop your blade or give yourself a nose bleed through sheer fruitless concentration.) It’s also why trying actions with a smaller dice pool is more dangerous for a less-capable character.

Adjustable Level of Complexity

I just told you everything you need to know to sit down and get started in a System 26 game. The basics are deliberately simple and easy to remember so you can focus on the good stuff—the action and story being shared between everyone at the table. How much “crunch” versus “fluff” can and will be mixed in future incarnations of these rules. Metamorphosis Alpha is wahoo-action dungeon crawl in space with an old-school sensibility, so it has plenty of rules about how mutations work and the range of plasma rifles and cover and armor, etc. But we have future ideas for System 26 games that are more story-focused, using the dice to resolve dramatically uncertain actions and ignoring high levels of specific detail, all while holding onto the core concepts of dice pool, traits, and qualities.

We’d love to hear what you think of our new rules engine, play experiences with Metamorphosis Alpha, and ideas you might bring for other ways to explore the core mechanics. Enjoy, and game on!

System 26 Logo

METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA, its concepts, and its logo are ™ & © James M. Ward. Used with permission. System 26 and the System 26 logo are ™ owned by Jamie Chambers. All rights reserved.
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Metamorphosis Alpha RPG Preview

MA RPG Preview

The new Metamorphosis Alpha Roleplaying Game is coming soon! We’re excited to offer a free preview of the upcoming book on DriveThruRPG.com and related sites. Click here to check it out and download it!

MA RPG Preview

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Happy Cthulhutine’s Day!

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With an upcoming celebration of love on the 14th, and the Signal Fire Studios crew adoring all things Lovecraftian, the staggeringly awesome Ben Mund brings us a way to share our feelings with the special men, women, and cosmic unknowable horrors in our life with two holiday cards from The Very Hungry Cthulhupillar. Just right-click on the image below and “Save Link As” to download the 2-page PDF file to your local computer to print, cut, fold, and give!

Remember you can purchase The Very Hungry Cthulhupillar eBook right here, as well as The Lovecraftian ABC’s!

Happy Cthulhutine's Day

You can enjoy our other Lovecraftian works by checking out the products on our online store or our t-shirt shop. Enjoy the madness of love!

Building An Elder God

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LovecraftABCsDTRPG-coverD

PonythulhuMenLightBlue

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Spooktacular Products

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We’ve got some great products perfect to celebrate the spooky season leading up to Halloween! Check out our monstrous offerings.

Building An Elder God

Building An Elder God

Build a monster, blast your enemy’s creature, or banish tentacles with the Elder Sign! This game is easy to learn and good for either family gaming or friends for beer-and-pretzels style play. Use the coupon code lovecraft on checkout from our online store to get free shipping in the month of October plus get five bonus cards!

Purchase:
… from your local game retailer
… directly from us (ships from Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
… from Amazon.com
*
Download Digital Print & Play version:
… directly from us (download immediately after purchase)
… from DriveThruRPG.com
… from Paizo.com

The Very Hungry Cthulhupillar

TVHC-cover

Relive your childhood with a Lovecraftian twist! This book is not intended for children, but you’ll giggle like one when you see the many things the cthulhupillar eats before the end of the terrifying week. The hardcover book is up for pre-order and you can get the eBook immediately!

Pre-Order:
… directly from us (ships from Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
*
Download eBook Version:
… directly from us (download immediately after purchase)
*
T-Shirt:
from our t-shirt shop

T-Shirts!

Click the images below to check out these monsterific t-shirt offerings!

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*

TeamWinchesterBlackMockup EhrmagerdPinkMockup BipolarCreammockup HowieAshmockup

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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Pantheon Decks Available Now!

AphroditeWebBanner

Our mythology-themed card game Pantheon by Timothy Brown and featuring the artwork of Lindsay Archer has been available in Print & Play form for over a year—allowing players to create their own card decks at home. We are now very excited to announce that we are using the excellent Print on Demand capabilities of DriveThruCards.com to offer this great game on real, high-quality cards right now!

Click here to view and purchase Pantheon.

Step One: Click on the link above to check out our page over at DriveThruCards.com.

Step Two: Choose a printed deck to be delivered to your front door or the print & play version—your choice!

Step Three: Download the rules or print & play card set for no extra charge.

Step Four: Enjoy!

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Origin Story

Here’s the story,
Of a man who’s brainy,
Who was dreaming up a Lovecraft kind of game.
All the cards had tentacles,
Dripping ichor,
And filled with twists and twirls.

 Here’s the story,
Of a man named Jamie,
Who was busy with a company of his own.
He had an office,
And a nice computer, but he was all alone.

Till the one day Ben sent email to this fellow,
To an inbox filled with Viagra and with frauds.
But this game,
Would move toward publication.
That’s the way that we can now build elder gods,
Build elder gods, build elder gods …
That’s the way we can now build elder gods!

Ahem. Sorry about that! Visit our latest Kickstarter update to learn about the origins of Building An Elder God and a peek at Ben Mund’s original sketches for the cards. Enjoy!