Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A&A Playtest 2.1: In Search of the Golden Bones

Long ago lived a pirate who amassed a huge amount of gold booty; so much that anyone would turn mutinous for just a sliver of that treasure trove; old golden beard Fry did the only logical thing.  He had a bunch of rogue alchemists replace his entire bone structure with pure gold.  Well, at least he lived a long and fulfilling life up till that point.  That's what Action Hank told the party and that's what they set off to find.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Avatar's & Annihilation: Monstrous Codex Design

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Today I have a long overdue request for how I handle creatures in Avatar's & Annihilation.  Bottom line up front:  As simple and clean as possible.  I designed this system with an eye towards putting together fights fast enough that you can do it during the course of play when your players go off the map or decide to anger the peaceful Space Terrapin tribe.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A&A Playtest 2.0: A Storm at Sea

Storm in the Sea by Pieter Mulier the II

As my layout editor and I are reviewing and revising the Book of Wind I figure it would be a good time to put it through it's paces.  A large number of mechanics in the Book of Wind were not incorporated into the last major playtest as they create a very different setting and exploration cycle.  It also gave us a chance to try out the Grinder method where each player makes three characters sharing the same archetype and attribute off the bat, splitting their equipment, gear and relics between them; this way the GM doesn't have to feel too bad when slaughters a few PC's early on and reminds the players of the lethality of the system.  For last nights game we had:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Return to Civilized Life and Progress Report

The last few months have flown by.  It started with a relocation cross country trip from East to West Coast, catching a flight overseas then eventually making it back to California for additional schooling.  Now that I've just gotten back from a field exercise in the Southern Californian brushland I am ecstatic to once again have running water, three square meals a day and a nice rack to sleep in.  It also means I have more time for my personal life and projects, not to mention a semi-reliable internet connection while I continue my hotel living on temporary duty assignment.

Where I last left off I mentioned I had been working on a book.  Well I have been for quite some time now; this rules system has taken one shape or another for many years now, each new revision building off the last.  I'd say my initial encounter with the Old School Renaissance (OSR), years back is what influenced me the most.  From that day forward my goal was to drop the exceptional mechanical complexity and to keep it sweet and simple, letting the theater of the mind fill in the form work laid by basic but elegant rules.  Don't get me wrong, this still has plenty more fiddly bits than Holmes basic but each mechanic has been hit by Occam's razor on numerous occasions.

Currently, playtesting is focusing on finding glitches in the system and unanswered questions.  For instance, Ranged weapons fire at the start of initiative so a recent question was whether or not thrown weapons or an elemental blast falls under that clause.  We'll experiment a few more times before we come up with a hard answer.  After a few more cycles of this I'll start working out how I will handle open playtesting.  Initial batches of art have been commissioned and procured but I'd like to have a hell of a lot more so we'll see where the budget falls soon enough.

Below you'll find the basic outline of the book, its contents, and an approximate percentage of how complete it is.