Sunday, 9 September 2018

Elevator Pitches and DD12 Cataclyzm, @ Concentric on the 16th.

When asked to describe my game world, I use this phrase (or words to this effect)

Terry Pratchett: Discworld and Geroge R.R.Martin: Game of Thrones have a kid, They adopted Adam Poots:Kingdom Death Monster as their first child, so their own child gets some overbearing influence and they have to ensure that their next kid is not so screwed up.

Or in more concise terms:

Terry Pratchett and Game of Thrones have a kid who discovered Kingdom Death Monster.

How to describe your game

I've actually had arguments with people about this, when asked "how to describe their game" I saw people write whole blogs about it.. (this is not a blog about my game, its a blog about blogs about peoples

They just didn't seem to get it, I have Zero interest in your game yet, I have yet to understand anything about it, I am a random person on the internet, So why would I read your whole blog about how Zee of the underworld rose against whY and eXx to fight with the grand master of duble-Wuu, to defeat the power of Vee. None.. and I don't expect anyone reading anything I write to have any more of the time of day than I do.

So You make an elevator pitch,  1 line, references that you should be aware of if you're part of my target audience. Do you read? are you aware of two authors, Terry Practchet is known for his discworld novels, yet if you say Discworld to some people, they look at you slightly quizzically, say Terry pratchett and their eyes light up. vice versa with Martin, say George RR Martin and as often as not, they think RR Tokien, but say Game of thrones and they know exactly what you're on about. If the two of them had a kid.. what would that be like.. now, that kid, has recently discovered a new game, Kingdom Death monster, and he's into that.

Now this is the interesting part, there is an even smaller audience that knows what Kingdom Death Monster is, but the words by themselves explain enough of it. Its a Kingdom.. right? it has a lot of Death in it, and Monsters.. could be any generic RPG clone, but just enough people, usually board gamers, and more often Kickstarter backers, have heard of the no.1 most funded board game on Kickstarter. And since its typical that a Game of Throne player, who has read Terry Pratchett is going to be a board game player, then likely they will know what these three references are..So likely this sounds interesting..
Practhett: Rincewind on a walking chest 
The TV series cover for Game of Thrones
Yet, if they haven't heard of, they're heard of the first two, then maybe they're asking.. ok so whats this third one.. what am I missing out on.

Lastly, Because of the influence order.. Terry Pratchetts Discworld is a far more influencing factor here, so he goes in first. Game of throne is less of an influencer, but its a world where there is more humans and less magic, but yet, dragons and frost zombie and fire magic exists.. So while it has very little direct influence, its very well known, so people recognize the name, the genre and what it means as a character in that world.. death.. even if you're the main hero. 

Had to cut off the NSFW bits.. KDM is quite the horrific game
Finally Kingdom Death taught me two main points, Get your players into the game quickly, so they're invested faster, and give them showdowns, because we can always fight off small hoardes of mini monsters, but its the boss monster we're trying to get to.

So, giving your readers / audience a nice quick title with plausible descriptions of your game will likely bring in interested people.. Or, scare them away if its not what they're looking for..

Darkest Dungeon, It indeed looks like something I'd quote, if I'd even played it. someday.. someday..

Cataclyzm is being played (and play tested) at Concentric this Saturday and Sunday (15th and 16th of September 2018). I'll do a write up of the results.

The premise: (if you are unaware), Your characters have awoken, strangely, in the dark, small fungal light sources exist, but not much else, yet at some distance, something else has awoken and it seems to sense you, smells you.. hungers for you. It approaches. You glance around at others also awakening, quickly you scramble for something, anything.. too late, it is upon you.. scratching biting, can you kill it before it kills you.

Character Creation is only partly played out during this first combat, then added to in the next phase, and completed over several phases as your characters slowly begin to remember their pasts and how they got here.. I won't include any spoilers.. but you must survive to unlock the secrets.

Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The Gorgon: DD12 Cataclysm & Beyond

Backstory: DD12:Cataclyzm is the survival horror scenario for Dungeon Delvers Twelve world/system. Your group has 'arrived' on this world, and before they have time to even think, something in the shadows and darkness has decided that you are its next meal.
The Male Gorgon.. minus snake hair...

The Gorgon:

So what is a Gorgon?

According to several mythological stories, the gorgon gets a wide variety of descriptions, from snakes, snake haired, bulls with volcanic or metallic flesh, other things with scales, wings, claws, tusks, mixtures of all the above, even the sphinx, satyr, hippocampus and mermaid are considered a gorgon.

All of the above.. maybe
So likely gorgon means demon, more than specifically Medusa and her sisters, of which they are likely demons.

So what is a demon? well, for a medieval peasant, anything that's scary enough to have come up from the depths of hell (if that's their local religion).

So Gorgons are just labels for demons.. but more commonly, demons that are mashed together bits of other animals. So, a hybrid right?

More like the Colchis Bull or the D&D gorgon here

Except, not theriocephalic, because that's just head of an animal, body of a human. and we're not talking humanoid, because that's a whole nother set of monsters.

So Gorgons, are hybrids, Heads like humans, or at least faces like humans, and then a whole mixed bag of what the rest of it is..

Except also, that any of those body parts, could be parts of humanoids, or theriocephaloids?

Whoa, where is this going?

So In Cataclyzm, the idea is that anything could come from anywhere, and as such, alot of it, might not so do well on a world with gravity, or air, or sunlight or a lack of sunlight (like nighttime) and so, a Gorgon, in this context, is any creature of anything that the GM comes up with, a mishmash of bits and peices, resulting in something the players might run away from, get eaten by or manage to hack apart and use.

Cataclysm was about lack of resources, cave-people of the Coyn World, you start with nothing and you build something, on a wider scale than a standard RPG where you start in an existing culture, and rise a little bit in comparison to all that is around you, to a well known hero.

Catacylsm won't have grand overarching bag guy plots, or heroic status when visiting nearby towns, not instead people will probably just have a general Awe and Fear for someone who managed to travel from one location to the next, and not get eaten.
Googling Gorgon can produce many varied results

So, The Gorgon is a multi-roll (or choice) on a chart that gives the GM a thing that he can describe, maybe its a bull body, a fish tail, arms of a rhino and the face of a chicken, it breathes air, but lives in a 0.5x gravity. As a result the GM can double the creatures Initiative costs, making it slow, it has a peck attack, and horns, it stomp around on two legs and maybe has a slap attack with its tailfin.

More interestingly, when you defeat it (if you do) you've gained access to cow leather, fish scales, large fore-arm bones, horns and probably a strange beefy-fish meat, with intestines, organs and the like.

Surprisingly, no Heart as Meat Potion images exist in google
While Early DD12 Cataclyzm notes had leather, horns and bones, more recently I've added in the organs, intestines and such so you can play as a shaman who gathers strange exotic liquids and meat sacks to attempt to brew up some very weird things indeed.

The Gorgon, gives us the ability to create some truely weird things, without the need for the exotic locations and the plot on how your group got you there.

Cataclyzm works well as a "westmarches" style game, each week you can have a whole new set of players, make up characters based on the villagers that still exist. They go out into the wilds to discover whats around, maybe they survive, maybe they don't, they bring back information, resources and new skills, so that hopefully, an established location can be added to the historical maps.

Gorgons should be used somewhat sparingly, once a month if you're playing weekly, its a freak of ... well not of nature.. it might be defeatable, it might be able to live in the world and become a re-occuring nightmare.

While the name Gorgon, brings up images of snake headed women, or metallic bulls for some, I do wonder if the controversy of keeping the generic "abomination" called a Gorgon would be a good idea or maybe the old adage, "All publicity is good publicity", if they're talking about my game, who cares if its trash talk?