Sunday, 1 October 2017

Been a While - Here, have a game.

So, Backstory TL;DR:

July 1st, I had 1 month to prepare my new "workspace", my mother in law was coming to stay with us for 3 months and I had 2 choices: 1) Pack up my office and use the kitchen table, sometimes, when available, to do any of my projects/painting/maps/drawing, etc. or 2) convert my shed from a dirt floor + metal skin, into an office. Its the 2nd of October, I am now at my spare PC (more on that later) in my new office.. its 60% compete, but only 65% completable. Should I have chosen the former choice?

I'm back baby!

The following section is about constructing a room, not really relevant to roleplay, but if you read it, you can have a look at the rules to a mini game at the end.. 

 So, July: I asked my current roleplay team if they wanted to 'help me out' in reward I would run a campaign for them of their choice, rather than testing the current game. So for 4 weekends, a small group of uni students, came to my place to dig up the dirt floor with me. It was supposed to be a 1 weekend job, but there were complications:

Diggy Diggy Dwarves
First up, The floor was only soft on one corner, so my initial test dig of 1 foot, multiplied into a 7x3.5m shed, divided by 3 (3 diggers 3 helpers) put me about 8 hours of digging. Instead it was much harder for 2/3rds of the shed, trippling the dig time, plus there were slabs of cement, just dumped into the original foundation, plus rocks, scraps of rubbish, etc..

We used the cement slabs (average 45x45x12cm) as supports for the floor, as I didn't want to be hauling dirt out, then hauling it back to get the floor level. This may have cost me an extra weekend of time to get right (digging out the extra holes & levelling it all) but in the end it paid off, the floor panels just dropped into place and are 1% margin of error flat.

The Floor panels are huge 3.2 x 1.3m palettes, used for hauling stone from quaries, their wood slats are close together, so dice can't fall through (but dust can) but due to the time restriction, I only put 2 big ones, and a medium sized one in, So now I have a nice 3.3x4.5 'space' in my shed, with a nice wooden floor.

For insulation I stapled plastic sheets to the walls, then stapled cardboard panels over that. The cardboard is from shipping containers that have fire retardant on them for warehouses (added safety), just cladding 1/3rd of the room so far, has dropped the heat by 5c on hot days and +5c on cold. So my expectations to improve that up to +/-15c should be about right for Australian Weather.

 It rained almost every week, so I've been able to check and test my 'water proofing'.

When I said 60/65% before, I mean that to continue now, I need a few more warehouse cardboard boxes, some more bubble wrap/foam sheeting, then next some proper wall panels, get the cables for electricity hidden behind the panels, and set up the extra lights for filming, then, I'll be ready to start streaming live my game sessions.

Yes, that's another purpose to the shed. not just an office, a whole gaming room for streaming games, events and other RP related stuff. Cool huh!?

Want to know more? honestly I don't know if this is such a relevant topic, but kitting out your RP cave is sorta something a large number of people do.. so maybe I'll post a few blogs related.

As Promised:

Mini Backstory Game for Gamesmasters

Every now and then I need to know alot more than just "this city of Z was founded by X and has been here for Y years" Backstory for cities isn't exactly easy to do, I've used civilization to create larger more world encompassing maps, but for smaller situations, I like to grab a player who might be from the town and have him 'work the story'

Why a player? mostly if you're from a city, you know some of its history, not the specifics, but at least the generalities. Having a player choose the key values for a city, improves their character, gives them some world knowledge that they can bring to roleplay.

The Game was Originally designed to deal with the 'aftermath' of a post apocalyptic situation, but I've adapted it for a complete backstory system as well as a localised plot points.

Game Rules

Write down everything that happens, you can make it into a story later

Basics: Using some kind of grid (I prefer hexes) you either start with 1 cell of village/population(pop) & 2 cells of farm. Each turn the village cell counts as 1 turn of actions. Each pop cell requires 2 food to eat, and each farm produces 1 food. So the starting 1 & 2 is self sustaining.
When the whole 'town' has accrued 3+ food, 2 of it can be consumed for 1 population growth, once per turn. Turns are set to 5 years for this 'medieval' version, scale up or down based on your needs.

Unhappiness: Every pop cell above the 1st, results in a slowly building 5% unhappiness. which is rolled each turn. If the roll is successful, 1 pop cell is too unhappy to work effectively, and you miss out on their action this turn (and reset unhappiness to 0). Also, you roll again against the success roll for further unhappiness (1 unhappy group riots, which causes further unhappy groups). i.e. total unhappines is 50%, roll is 23, so if the next roll is 23 or less, another pop becomes unhappy. If the whole town ever becomes unhappy, further rolls result in chaos & you lose d4 population per 4 population.

Happiness: You can build locations to allow your happiness to counter the unhappiness, such as markets, taverns, theatres (see below)

Heroes: Every turn there is an increasing 1% chance that a hero will visit your town, and complete a quest, resulting in a large improvement to your town. Mark these on your towns history.

Creatures: Each turn roll a d12, on a 10 or 11, add a 'small creature' to the edge of your map, approx 10 cells from your village (d6 or d8 direction, according to your map type). on a 12, add a 'big creature' Then roll d12 for each creature on the map, if its a 10 or 11, move them left or right, and on a 12, move them closer to your town and increase your unhappiness by 5%. If a creature moves into any of your cells (farms or buildings) destroy it, and increase your unhappiness by 20%, if they move into a pop cell, increase unhappiness by 50%.

Combat: When a Hero or a Guard attacks a creature in a turn, roll your preferred systems combat, for simplicity I use a simple d12: 
Guard: Attack 8, Defence 1, HP 1 vs small creature Attack 7, Defence 0, HP 1. 
Attack - Defence = roll under value, if success = -1 HP. continue rolling until defeat/win.
Big Creature: Attack 12, Defence 2, HP 3.

Each turn you can do the following:
* Turn land into Farmland
* Turn land into village (population)
* Turn a village / Farm back into Land
* Research 'discoveries'
* Prepare Land for "Larger" Buildings (needs 2 actions) - cannot be surrounded by monsters
* Build a Larger Building (needs 3 actions)
* Send out 'guards' to deal with local monsters
* Turn Larger buildings back into Land (needs 2 actions)
* Build a wooden wall

You could create some resource rules for village / wall / large buildings, which would bring far more depth to your town, i.e. forests for wood & hills for stone, if monsters block the path, then you lose access.

Discoveries & Larger Buildings:
When you have 10x level discovery points for any given discovery path, you unlock its abilities/actions.
Heroes as units, can perform actions (spells/etc) or attack creatures. See combat for details.

Warrior: Level 1: Can use 1 action to create a warrior hero from 1 food.
Warrior: Attack 9, Defence 2, HP 1: Special can give 1 damage to 1 creature & is used up.
Warrior Level 2: Can build a Barracks (Large Building) which gives you 1 warrior for 1 food, no action required.
Warrior Level 3: Can create 1 free warrior per turn.

Bard Level 1: Can spend 1 food and decrease unhappiness by 5%
Bard Level 2: Can build Theatres (use Large building location) which negates 15% unhappiness.
Bard Level 3: Can create Bard Unit (1 action, 1 food)
Bard Unit: Attack 10, Defence 0, HP 1: Special: Enthralls small creature to become population in town (used up)

Merchant Level 1: Can spend 1 action to decrease unhappiness by 5%
Merchant Level 2: can build Taverns (use Large Building slot) re-roll 1 unhappiness roll.
Merchant Level 3: Can Create Merchant Unit.

In the Fall of Fort-town, we had Undead hordes, Disease & the like, so mages with purify spells, doctors to heal sick and other aspects of the game were tied in. I'm not sure how they would work outside of a seige situation, but maybe you could add the elements in as you see fit.

Lets look at the Fall of Fort Town as an example on the next Blog:

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