Friday, March 10, 2017

Who's Driving Your Plane?

It can be a tricky mechanic to tackle, no matter the game system.  I've brainstormed, come up with some potential rules, and even run through a few test scenarios.  All of this led me to scrap it and start over again.  The main issue I kept running into, was that the mechanics became overly cumbersome and complicated.  It's hard to pitch a simple game system when one of the mechanics isn't.

As a result, I've kind of avoided the vehicles section for a while now, focusing on other parts of the game.  I ran another playtest, gathered some feedback, implemented some rules, and moved on.  The problem wasn't going to go away, but I had no real answer.  In the meantime, I watched a few of my favorite movies/TV shows for inspiration, and wouldn't you know it...I got inspired.

In many movies and shows, the ship itself IS a character.  It has personality, charm, and a soul (sometimes literally).  Why not stat out a vehicle the same way a character is built?  Use the same attributes, skills, and so on, but on a different scale.  It seemed a little too simplistic, but I tried it out.  The results thus far are very encouraging.  I'm really looking forward to test driving (ha ha) these rules in the next playtest, and getting some feedback.

I hope you've been enjoying my ramblings so far, and would like to hear back from you.  What would you like to see in the future?  Sound off below, and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Don't Be A Stranger

Hey folks, sorry for taking so long to post.  Time just warped by at light speed, and now we're in February.  I had a bout of flu and strep last month, so that knocked me out for a while, and work has really picked up.  I'd like to get in a post at least every other week, but it all depends on what's going on.

I managed another playtest this past weekend, and was able to incorporate elements of the setting I've been working on.  There was some pretty good feedback on both the system and the setting, and I made a few discoveries along the way:

  • The average target number for non-opposed test is way low.  Players were able to easily overcome these tests, and I had to adjust on the fly.
    • Good news is that the system was able to compensate quite easily, and I was able to input the new adjusted target numbers with ease.
  • Huge difference between having a skill, and not having a skill.  Seems like a no-brainer, but it really showed in the rolls.  Even a single rank was enough to really differentiate between the haves and have nots.
  • Not having a skill for an opposed roll was killer.  The system incurs a -2D penalty when attempting an unskilled roll.  Really punished the players for not having a skill.
  • The system can be pretty gritty, in its current incarnation.  Getting shot or stabbed really hurts a character.  Go figure. :P
  • Emphasis on specialized skills is a benefit, and possible hindrance.
Overall, I believe that the potential remains for the system to be utilized as a universal game system, with options to adjust for any setting the GM wishes to use.  I intend to test this out with another playtest, using a completely different genre and theme.  There are mechanics that allow for more pulp, over the top game play, but I'm undecided if I want to include it as the default, or not.  

Another thought I had was what setting would be the initial "Selling Point".  I have a few that I'm working on, and there's one that I had a hand in creating that could be easily converted.  I know it's a long way off, but it's something that may influence how the system develops.  Right now everything is vanilla; there are no setting specific rules, equipment, races, etc.  I'd like to go the route of including setting specific rules in each new setting book, but I'd also like to have a free setting when you purchase the core rules.  

I'm slowly inching towards a full blown playtest document, so stay tuned if you're interested in participating.  I can't say if it will be sooner rather than later, but it is on the way!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Brand New Car

I have a couple of ideas, and would like your input.

I'm considering implementing a Career mechanic into the system, which would give certain benefits to the character.  It wouldn't be mandatory; the system isn't level-based, and you can build your character as you see fit.  The chosen Career would be a template to build upon, at the cost of build points at character creation.

I've also been developing a setting that is a mix of Sci-Fi and Fantasy.  Right now, it's pretty localized; 2-3 planets, maybe a moon or two.  Space travel is fairly new and expensive, so you won't see a lot of tramp freighters blasting across the sky.  The other option would be a full blown Space Opera, with all of the trimmings; multiple planets, lots of different races, and space transports galore.

So what would you like to see out of these options, and why?  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ride On, Baby

Hope everyone had a great time celebrating the New Year!  I'm really looking forward to this year, and seeing how things develop and progress.  It's easy to get caught up in the excitement during this time of year; New Year, New Me philosophy and all of that.  I can tell you that my local gym is beyond packed right now, which is fairly routine for January.

The downside is that the luster soon wears off, and instead of a positive outlook, it becomes more of a chore.  Things aren't going as fast or as smooth as you anticipated, other commitments take priority, or Life just gets in the way.  This isn't meant to be pessimistic, but rather a lesson in expectations.  Don't go nuclear, just burn bright and steady.

In short, my development philosophy is approach it like a marathon, not a sprint.

With that said, where am I currently in development?  Let's take a look.

Update #6

  • Mechanic update - The Story Dice I mentioned in the last update really seem to mesh nicely with the core mechanic.  This separates the dice into quantity and quality, as well as open up avenues for interpreting the dice in a dramatic fashion.  
    • Although I've mentioned it elsewhere, the system utilizes a D6 pool.  The core rule is the Rule of Ten - no dice pool can exceed 10D.  This comes into play when creating your character, as well as advancement.
    • Characters are further defined by Strengths and Weaknesses.  These are qualities that either give your character a mechanical, or roleplay advantage or limitation.
  • I will be conducing longer playtests with a local group in the next few weeks, which may lead to a campaign.  
    • Not enough setting has been developed to really jump into anything long-term (yet), but will continue to be fleshed out.
    • The longer playtests will determine how close I am to creating a full-fledged playtest document for others to test drive.
  • Setting development has been a bit slow.  Lots of ideas, but not all are conducive to the setting I'm creating.  These are jotted down for later, maybe for another setting book if this proves to be a successful endeavor.
    • I'm sticking with the science-fantasy route, as it really appeals to me.  It will lean more towards fantasy, with hints of tech (plasma pistols and minotaurs?).
  • Transferred all of my docs to Google Drive, as well as Google Docs.  Even though I was backed up, I don't want to take any chances.

I look forward to posting more updates throughout 2017, and look forward to hearing from you!