Monday, 14 January 2019

KICKSTARTED!

So, I was umming and ahhing about what to do as my first Kickstarter..

Something small, easy to deal with, easy to produce, just enough to cut my teeth but not too much if it got a bit crazy

Then I saw the Make 100 Challenge.. only make 100 of something..

Well I said.. I can do that!

So I DID!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1203688183/make-100-fantasy-locations



Its Simple Enough, I'm going to draw 100 locations on a map, so fellow GMs and Authors and Artists and anyone interested, can just have a cool little map for their own.

I draw these kinds of maps for people from time to time as commissions, I've charged as much as $200 for them, its usually 10 hours of drawing after 25+ hours of preparation and discussion with the author / games designer. So its not too far off what I've done before.

The Interesting part (for me) is getting 100 different locations into the map, I'll have to sort them out, structure them, get a feel for what goes where, interpret them from some backers it might be confusing mess..

So lets see where this goes. I'll post some thoughts on Kickstarting a project and How it all works out in the coming weeks.

Heres the Kicktraq for it
Make 100 Fantasy Locations -- Kicktraq Mini

Monday, 7 January 2019

DD12 Cataclyzm Playtest Diary II


I've been playtesting Cataclyzm to get a feel for how the game flows well, as its not a traditional roleplay and has moments where even I as GM get fazed and left wondering if I'm making a fun game or forcing an idea. So I decided to blog my thoughts..

DD12 Cataclyzm Playtest Diary #2

The Bleak Rocky Landscape of Cataclyzm

Ok, So this week was a bit of a bummer..

A) With a two something week hiatus from Christmas and New Years, we all sorta forgot where we left things.
B) We were down 50% of the group, Normally I would cancel if I know that 50% are not coming, its the threshold, too many decisions are left unanswered with half the group being mute torch bearers.

So, when half your group is going to miss out on XP, plot, mapping, adventure.. how can you continue? Side-Quests!

except.. and this is probably where Cataclyzm is lacking right now..

In a bleak, rocky, dark, nothing terrain, there are no side quests.. yet..

Normally I have a backstory for the world, whats going on in nearby villages, what things are problematic for the locals. I've had brave peasants ask the very high level heroes to dispatch goblin camps, for a few gold they managed to scrape together. Or on the other end, I've had lower level characters asked if they feel up to taking out the evil wizard that has set up a lair in the mountains, complete with crypts, graveyards and some giant undead dragon guarding the front door.

Its up to the players to gather the information and make an informed decision on if they want to take on a side quest.

But here I was, 3 players, ready to play, I have zero side quests. Nothing..

So, my fall-back.. character development.. While camping between travel, what do your characters talk about? Who ARE you? This was a little lacking, as 3 players down, meant we'd have to repeat all this again next week.

So what else could I focus the plot on? Starvation..

Cataclyzm is supposed to start getting your characters thinking about where they are, what they are doing.. walking around looking for food is the draw card to get players to move, look around, find stuff. sometimes horrid stuff..

They went back to the Turtle thing from the previous week, poked it with a stick, got some flesh from the carcas, but then promptly discarded it when they realised it'd likely be off.. They tried to clear some of it, so they could use the shell as a huge shield or something, but that acid blood kept them at bay (the idea, not any actual acid blood)

Eventually, they decided to carve their bone clubs into weapons.. Now, I was thinking, this is where it'll get interesting.. cept it didn't really..

The Skills system in DD12 is more static than full Dungeonworld, and as a result, crafting rules are less creative and more 'roll=>pass=>apply modifier', I'm thinking, at the very least, DD12 Cataclyzm would need the full crafting rules..

Thats an aspect of the differences that I've been working for..

Lets say your players LOVE combat, combat stats, working the numbers.. so they start with DD12, then add the DW-combat system into it, the rest of the rules on all other stats and skills are DD12, nice, simple, clean, easy.. but combat, uses all the bells and whistles..

Eventually when all 12 rule sets are structured, it'll all work nicely, but until its all built. its a mishmash of rules and broken mechanics.. work needs to be done, play-testing needs to be done.. and it all takes time.

The Encounter rolls were interesting.. first they found a fellow human, I rolled aggression and got way above 20, so this 'thing' was an insane leftover warrior.. he'd lost his tribe, gone nutz and was just eating anything and anyone he fought.. I adjusted his health to account for the battles he'd gone through, even still, he fought a good fight before going down. The group gained some battle scarred weapons and armour, that'll likely help them for a fight or two.


Next was a Wraith.. The point to rolling up things that are impossible to battle, is to show how the world works.. The Wraith had no life-force, its very existance was eating away at itself, exertion, of any kind, just drained itself away to nothing.. the players managed to startle the thing into moving, which caused 8 of its last 10 HP to blurr away into nothing.. the players figured it out, but decided to try a different approach, and they used their crystals. One player now has a red "wraith infused" crystal.

While I was GMing, I was asking myself.. what would other GMs do? How can I make sure Cataclyzm is playable by other GMs with less experience, less creativity?

I'm thinking of making several random charts, with random effects, but after playing a few games with decks of cards, I feel the aesthetic of drawing a card from a deck, so players get a sense of what it is they are facing too, is very pleasing and adds to the game play.

Roll on a chart for a base monster.. ok you got a Wraith, its 7th level, the group is 3rd, so draw two flaw cards, the 1st?: Slow.. ok cool.. and 2nd? dying.. niiice, ok, so my players now have a chance to defeat it, and I don't have to re-roll. 

Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Twelve Archtypes of Christmas

Having a new player watch the game, who can't make up their mind as to what to play, You start with something simple, but then suggest increasingly complex character choices..

On the First Day of Roleplay, My GM said to me:
Play as a Warrior in Chain.

On the Second Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
Game as a Ranger, or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Third Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
to Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger, or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Fourth Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
to Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger, or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Fifth Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
a Spell Caaaasting Maaaaaaage,
Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger,
or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Sixth Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
a Snooty Elven Noble,
Spell Caaaasting Maaaaaaage,
to Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger,
or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Seventh Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
a Book Academic,
Snooty stuck up Noble,
Spell Caaaasting Maaaaaaage,
to Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger,
or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Eighth Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
a Short Dwarven Blacksmith,
Book Academic,
Snooty Elven Noble,
Spell Caaaasting Maaaaaaage,
to Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger,
or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Ninth Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
to Haggle as a Merchant,
Short Dwarven Blacksmith,
Book Academic,
Snooty Elven  Noble,
Spell Caaaasting Maaaaaaage,
to Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger,
or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Tenth Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
to Croon like a Bard,
Haggle as a Merchant,
Short Dwarven Blacksmith,
Book Academic,
Snooty Elven Noble,
Spell Caaaasting Maaaaaaage,
to Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger,
or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Eleventh Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
a Medieval Doctor,
Croon like a Bard,
Haggle as a Merchant,
Short Dwarven Blacksmith,
Book Academic,
Snooty Elven Noble,
Spell Caaaasting Maaaaaaage,
to Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger,
or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain

On the Twelfth Day of Roleplay, my GM offered me:
a Mind Bending Mystic,
Medieval Doctor,
Croon like a Bard,
Haggle as a Merchant,
Short Dwarven Blacksmith,
Book Academic,
Snooty Elven Noble,
Spell Caaaasting Maaaaaaage,
to Pray like a Priest
Sneak like a Rogue,
Game like a Ranger,
or just
Play as a Warrior in Chain





Thursday, 3 January 2019

Happy New Year to All

Happy 2019 to everyone, those whom are reading this, those who are not, and everyone in between.

Do you celebrate New Years in your game / world?


Every now and then, I check the notes of the calendars of my world and see if its appropriate that locals are having a festival.

Festivals are important for people, to mark the passage of time, If you want to really get into this, go interview some people in small towns about their local festivals, how they plan it, how much time is put into it, and what they do inbetween time.. often its 'plan the next festival'

If we look at modern times, what with the work week, schedules, productivity and such, we've lost a lot of good ole fashioned festivals. We've managed to hang on to a few religious ones, a few non religious ones and some cross-overs.. such as Christmas, New Years and Easter.

Christmas and Easter, might be a tad hard to just plonk into your world, Maybe a great hero from a great time, might have stood for some goal, and people celebrate his birth and death, but I think its a fair call to say that marking the passage of time, the end of the year, would be universal.

So what do your folks do for New years? Local Wizards blowing off some fireworks spells?

In Estonia, we walked to the gravestones of ancestors and gave thanks, said hello. So maybe witches might summon up the spirits and communicate each year?

Russian New years is kinda like Australian Christmas, hand out pressies, eat a big meal, stay up to midnight and give your besty a hug before falling asleep somewhere that's not often your bed.

What of the aftermath, Russian New years is 10 days long, no-one goes to work, they just stay indoors, eating, drinking and so on, If your adventurers arrived in town mid-festival, would they find closed shops? full Inns? people sleeping in the street?

How about mid adventure...

"Hang on guys, before we enter the next room and solve the traps and kill the monsters, I'd just like to say a few words and count-down for New Years, about how much I appreciate you all!"