Sunday, February 5, 2012

An Update

Hey, all.

It's been a while since I posted properly up here. This is because I've been spending the time I was spending blogging actually working on the game. Based on the advice of... someone... one of my commenters here, I believe... (does research)... Ah, it was @scottz, who introduced me to the Hydra Cooperative—I have decided to work out exactly the minimum amount of stuff I need to write in order to publish this game. Forget the many other Realms, forget the intense background material, forget the elaborate bestiary. Character creation, rules for running the game, and just enough setting information to inspire people. If it gets some interest, I'll put out supplements (and if it doesn't, I'll probably write them anyway).

So I recently put together the Character Creation rules into a complete form over on the wiki, and am now working on the Universal Conflict system I posted about way back when, trying to figure out how to include weapons and armor appropriate for all conflict types. After all, why should the melee fighter get a chance to inflict +2 stress with their greatsword, while the charmer has to rely completely on their raw skill?

So here's what's on my list. Let me know if you think anything is missing or on here that doesn't need to be:

-City Creation (as per Dresden Files)
-Character Creation
-Information on Bloodlines
-Information on Factions
-Character Advancement
-Running the Game (adjudication, hazards, etc)
-Conflicts (types, maps, rules)
-A short description and a couple Aspects and Locations for each District
-A small bestiary, with a few common types of City-dwellers and a few unique monsters
-Some GM advice
-A character sheet.

Additionally, now that I have an end in sight (a long way off, as only Character Creation and Bloodlines from this list are actually finished), I'm thinking about how best to present the game. I'm going to have to get it off that wiki some time, put it into a nice pretty pdf. Which means I need graphic design, layout, and (gulp) artists. None of which I can do. I'm looking into starting up a Kickstarter drive at some point, but I need some more to show before I can reasonably do that, including some nice art. Anyone know any artists willing to work for cheap or free?

Anyway, that is the state of things, and I'll come back here when I have something to say, perhaps give you guys some inside scoops into my thought process on some of the new stuff I'm doing—I'll probably write up some more stuff on my thoughts in the Universal Conflict System and weapons when I'm done with that, so look forward to that (relatively) soon.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

23 Questions as a GM meme

I intend to post something soon about some game mechanics (I'm working on the Universal Conflict System I posted about way back when, trying to figure out more about goals, stress, vehicles and tools, as well as universalizing weapon and armor rules). Until then, I'm going to post on this meme (from D&D With Pornstars).

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?
     Probably the Bloodline rules for CoL. They've added so much flavor to the campaigns, in a way that still fits with the FATE creed.
2. When was the last time you GMed?
    Two days ago, Saturday the 27th.
3. When was the last time you played?
    Oh, God. Much longer. 2009? A short-lived D&D 4e campaign
4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.
    God, I can't think of one. I don't have enough adventure ideas to fill the game I run...
5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?
    Since we run things online these days, I either make notes and prep for the next encounter, or browse the internet (depending on how I'm feeling that night).
6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?
   We game right after/during dinner, so I have my regular supper during the early parts of the game. Later I may have some popcorn or ice cream, or nothing.
7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?
   Only in a marathon session, which I seldom do. After a three to four hour session, I'm tired, but I'm also wired.
8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
    My most recent PC was a Fae with seriously variant morality, and she had a tendency to play potentially lethal practical jokes on her friends.
9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
    Most of the humor comes out in OOC ways, and most of the time the PCs stay serious. Sometimes they go wild, though, and do things like blackmail a guy for his visits to the whorehouse, laughing all the way.
10. What do you do with goblins?
    Avoid them. Tolkienian fantasy is SOOO BORING>
11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
    Since I have to get icons for everything for my virtual tabletop, I pull a lot of pictures off the internet. The most recent one was probably pulling a bunch of pictures of the Mothman  to be monsters called "Mist Moths."
12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
   The first thing that comes to mind was an old Paranoia session I played (rather than ran). In that game, when your character dies, they are replaced by a clone, who wanders in a few minutes later. However, my character was almost dead, but not quite—and they activated the clone anyway. The argument with myself over who was the right clone and who got to go on the mission was a classic moment.
13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?
   I look at every FATE book that comes out for general rule ideas, but the last thing I looked at that wasn't at all related was the Leverage RPG. I looked at that because I love the Leverage TV show and heard it had innovative and amazing rules--which is true.
14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?
   I don't pay much attention to WHO illustrates RPGs, I just appreciate it. I do love RK Post...
15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
   No, I suck at horror.
16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)
   Virtually the only time I ever run pre-written adventures are when playing Paranoia—and there are a bunch of great adventures for it. My favorite time was running the brilliant Alpha Complexities.
17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
   Nice, comfortable table. Nice, comfortable chairs.
18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?
   Paranoia—humorous, wacky, oppressive; and DFRPG—dark, gritty, fantasy fiction.
19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
    I run my games as a combination of TV series—highly scripted, dramatics over simulation, story arcs—and sandbox storytelling—in each adventure, I tend to give my players a goal and let them run wild on how to accomplish it. I guess those influences come from loving TV and, I dunno, GTA or something.
20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
   Flexible, storyteller-type players.
21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms?
   I just ran an adventure dealing with fog, inspired by reading in my Earth Science class.
22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?
   I wish someone else had written City of Lives so I could play it without having to write the damned thing.
23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?
   Not really. Most of my social circle plays.

Monday, January 16, 2012

SOPA Strike

Not that this is much of a change, as I've decided to write when and if I have something to write (and haven't yet), but I am officially going on strike this Wednesday the 18th to protest SOPA, and will be not-posting WITH DELIBERATE INTENT.

What it is:
What to do: