Monday, September 30, 2013

System Basics

Hey gang,

For the last few days I have been working somewhat diligently on my home-brew RPG system.  As I have mentioned several times before is is a frustrating, but enjoyable process.  My goal here today is to post a bit about the basic mechanics and go from there in further posts.

The most basic mechanic of the system is to use a single d20 to determine success or failure.  Whenever the d20 is rolled any sort of pluses or minuses are applied to the result and if the total meets or exceeds the Target Number then the check succeeds.  Things that can modify the d20 roll include attribute modifiers, range, darkness, and a myriad of other things.

There are 5 Primary Attributes; Body, Reflex, Intellect, Intuition, and Presence.  These make up the core of the characters abilities.  There are also a number of Secondary Attributes that determine the more minute things about the character.  Health, Defense (melee, ranged, mental), Initiative, and Power Points are all secondary attributes.

In order to perform a skill check the Player rolls 1d20 and adds their relevant Skill Rank plus their related Attribute Rank.  The basics of this are neither new, nor ground breaking but they are what I like so that gives them some weight, at least to me.

Work on my Invulnerable project is somewhat stalled at the moment.  Nothing bad has happened I am just going through one of my bouts of self-doubt as to what direction to go with the overall setting.  I know, I know, get it together.  I would but I am a bundle of over-thinking and questions :D  In the meantime I am still working on the basic Rally Cry setting and going from there.

Artwork is progressing although as slow as normal, but you all know that is nothing new right?  

Later this week I will be posting some of the classes and skills for my system along with more information about a couple of my other ideas that I have.

Thanks as always and keep on Gaming! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fatigue is tiring me out...

Hey all,

So as you can see from the title of this post, and the fact that I have been absent for a while I am still battling my fatigue.  But enough of that, let me get to the gaming goodness.

This post, which may ramble as usual, is based off of a question I have been asking myself for a while now.

When does inspiration go to far?

The reason I am asking this is that while I work on my own homebrew RPG system I have noticed that I am taking a number of cues from my favorite system.  I know that by itself that isn't a problem, but I worry that I may be going to far and instead of using it for inspiration I am trying to emulate it too much.  There are many things I like and dislike about my inspiration and I hope that I am making something my own out of it.

That all being said there are a metric butt-ton of emulators out there for various RPG's.  Look at the plethora of OSR products and the slew of OGL games.  I guess my self doubt is a bit pointless, but the question is still there.  Any thoughts you all may have would be greatly appreciated.

On a related note writing is progressing well on my Invulnerable project.  After many internal debates I have settled things and the initial setting book is done writing wise.  The NPC's need to be finished, then of course artwork and layout but hopefully that sort of stuff won't take to long.  I have decided to release my projects on the Pay What You Want model.  This way I can get my thoughts out there for the masses (hah) and if someone enjoys it enough to pay for it then great, if not, well so be it.

Artwork continues on a number of projects which is good, it keeps me busy.

Ok, I am off to work on more system related goodness.  I am planning to post the basics of the system here on this blog this weekend at the latest.

As always thanks for your time and keep on Gaming!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Super Tuesday 7

Hey gang!

Here we are again.  Another somewhat exciting delve into my mind and what I consider fun.  I had planned to review this nifty little supers/heaven/hell game I found, but I will be damned if I can find it on either of my computers.  It is kind of odd how that happens to me.  Of course it may have to do with the fact that I have several gigs of supers-related stuff on my computer... Ah well, maybe next time.

Capes or Realism.  Which is better?  I know that with the BIG 2 (Marvel and DC) that there is a huge difference.  DC is more colorful and 'Heroic', full of good deeds, evil-doers and daring do (well before the New 52 at least) while Marvel has been becoming increasingly darker.  I have a soft spot for both types but since my formative reading years took place during the Iron Age that is decidedly my favorite type.

So dark comics are my fave.  Sure, but I still enjoy a good DC story now and then.  Blackest Night was really good, so was the Superman event Our Worlds at War.  I don't know, maybe I am just to much of a pessimist to really enjoy a lot of DC stuff, but I hope to change that.  It also doesn't help that the only local store I shop at barely carries any DC TPB but has a ton of Marvel things.

It may seem odd coming from me, but I think comics, especially my own ideas, are TOO dark.  Sure, there is room for heroics and daring-do, but the world will barely notice.  I mean in one of my idea I wiped out over 1/3 of the world with a plague and then had the big bad of the campaign wipe out most of the East Coast.  Grim to say the least.

And where do fun and exciting characters stand in such darkness.  I like Spider Mans attitude (well Peter Parker not the Doc-Ock crap).  It is good to have a happy-go-lucky quipster in the mix to help keep things light.  I enjoyed him as an Avenger more than solo though for some reason...

In my opinion there needs to be more 'fun' characters running around.  There needs to be more light to offset at least some of the darkness to make it feel as if there is at least a chance the good-guys can really win.  Ah well, I am rambling... This is the kind of thing I could go on about for hours.

And what about women in comics?  I mean why are there so many leather-wearing, whip/rope carrying, bondage-type ladies running around?  Sure, I understand that comics are by, and aimed, mostly at men, but sheesh can it get much worse?  Then again I think my dislike of this has to do with my general attitude towards costumes of late.  I think it has to do with the settings I am working on, where the supers don't wear them.  Sometimes it's better to fly-low and stay under the radar.  A bright red cape with a glowing symbol on it doesn't say stealth to me.

Oi... what was I talking about??

Keep on gaming my friends!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fantasy Thursday 2

Hello all!

I have been working on some more notes for my slow-to-be-realized fantasy setting and in the course of it I have discovered that I really enjoy some of the more common yet under-utilized critters.  I seem to take these 'weak' creatures and supplement them into something more.

One example of this is the Gnoll.  In most games they are an afterthought, a creature that is used at low levels and then forgotten as characters whip on by.  In the Espeth setting the gnolls are more than just cannon-fodder for young adventurers to decimate out-of-hand.  Although they are not sufficient enough to be considered a 'player-race' they are potent enough to hand characters their heads if they aren't careful.

The gnolls control a massive area of northern Espeth known as the Frontier.  The Frontier has, of late, became a hotbed of activity.  Prospectors from Golardin are flooding into the region in search of all kinds of riches.  The influx of so many outsiders has enraged the gnoll tribes and sent them to war with them.  In essence gnolls can be compared to the Indians of the American West with the exception that they are massive, powerful, and possess ancient magics never before seen.  All in all they aren't someone to be trifled with.

To make matters worse the two nations that border the Frontier, Golardin and Cymea (name changed from Trepia) are preparing to go to war with each other and the largest battles are bound to take place across the region.  Understandably all of this has the gnolls in an uproar and seeking ways to defend themselves.  They have already made alliances with two 'young' demon-lords (a benefit of their unknown magics) and have captured and trained several dragon-kin to aid them.

Something else to keep in mind is that the gnolls of Espeth are not stupid, far from it really.  Gnolls are highly territorial, possesses keen intellects, and are master strategists.  The main reason they are not more of a power in the north is due to their inherently warlike nature.  Basically if they aren't at war with an outsider they take their aggression out on others.

Sure, Players will come to understand the gnolls powerful position in the Frontier and hopefully come to respect them.  I am a type of Game Master that like to keep players guessing and I think that is a good thing.

Thanks as always and Keep on Gaming!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Super Tuesday 6

Hey gang!

Here we are again, another installment of my rants about super-hero gaming.  First off I would like to address supers and my writing projects.  I have been given two new opportunities.  For the first I am working on a small setting book for the game Bulletproof Blues while the second is a larger project being done as an expansion for the engine that powers the Invulnerable game.

While both systems are, at their root, based in comic-books I am taking a different approach to them.  For the Bulletproof Blues project I am using a post-apocalyptic world where the heroes are on the ropes after losing a war.  I have mentioned this one before.  It is coming along well, the difference from a typical world is that the world is shattered, heroes no longer wear costumes, and the survivors are just as dangerous as the invaders.  It has been a lot of fun.  So far all of the artwork for the invaders is done in pencil and a few are inked.  It will take a good amount of time to finish it, but it will be worth it.

The second project, using the Cosmology Engine from Invulnerable has gone through several changes.  It started as a basic supers-setting, then a Rifts homage, now it is a space-opera type of thing with lots of species, lots of backgrounds, and eventually rules for ships, planets, and all other types of goodies.  Like I said, this one is going to take a long time, but man, i cannot wait till it is ready for presentation.

Yet another G-core project has reared its head.  This one will be easy, just a few characters for GM's to use.  This will more fully flesh out the Rally Cry setting as well as providing people with easy access to the game.  More fun stuff.

I guess the jist of it all is that the supers genre can really be used for pretty much anything.  Isn't a spell caster from a fantasy game just emulating the powers of a comic-book character and so on?  Of course the same could be said in reverse, that comic-book gaming is just an offshoot of the fantasy games.  The answer though really doesn't matter does it?  I enjoy both genres, and well, several others, but I don't know if I would say I am more in favor of one over another.

I know, I know, I am constantly going on about supers related things, but it is just the easiest thing for me to write about.  That is the key isn't it?  I mean, finding a happy place where you are working on what you like and can do anything?  It is a great and cathardic thing to which I devote way to much time most days... not that I can always get something worthwhile out.  But that is just part of the process isn't it?

Thanks as always my friends, and Keep rolling those dice!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The yasith

My fantasy setting has many races available for Players to choose from.  The first one that I am presenting to you is the Yasith.  The yasith are a race of traders, diplomats, and con-men.  Known throughout the realm as intellectual yet conniving people the yasith have earned these monikers over the centuries.

The yasith are the founders of the massive trade organization known as the Mercantile.  It is said that the Mercantile has its hand in nearly every transaction that takes place across the land.  While this is just a fantasy most people know about the Mercantile regardless of how far out in the sticks they are.

This is not the 'official' write up for them, and the picture below will be getting colors added to it soon (ish).

I hope you like it and Keep on Gaming!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Creativity....'aint it great?

So I have been sitting here today waffling back and forth between random ideas and set-in-stone projects.  Well, as set in stone as any of my projects ever are.  After wasting most of the day not accomplishing anything I got a bit of work done on my home-brew system.  It wasn't much mind you, but it was something and that is always what matters.  On the plus side I did get some really nice (in my opinion) pencils done for one of my PC races.

Home-brews are a tricky beast.  If it is going well it is a great feeling but I also believe that there can be nothing as frustrating.  I have way to many self-doubts and do too much comparing to other things to ever work on it for a prolonged period of time.  Fortunately I have several friends/mentors behind me that help keep me going on all my projects.

I know many of you have worked on your own systems/settings/writing and some of you have had the chance to put stuff out there for others to see.  It is a big deal, even if it doesn't seem like it.  I have put out three small PDF's as well as set some stuff on my blog, and each time I get butterflies.  I am very hard on myself and never consider anything done right so it is hard to get stuff out.

I was talking with a friend yesterday, discussing a bit when to consider a project done.  I am trying hard to cut down on the overall massive amount of writing I do for some of my projects.  I mean the original rally Cry was over 150 pages and that didn't include any sort of character write-ups or rules of any kind.  So I guess brevity, being the soul of whit, may be a good thing for me.

Overall work has been relatively slow for the last couple weeks and it is due to the fact that I let myself get off schedule.  It may sound silly but if I don't have a plan I never get anything done.  To that end I am setting up a new one that will be implemented on Monday.  Said schedule will include days for each of my three 'main' projects (home-brew, Bulletproof Blues, and Invulnerable) as well as a day for doing artwork.  That still leaves a couple of days to do whatever I want, which I am sure will include more G-Core lol.  Saturdays of course will be dedicated to actually getting to Roleplay!!  (yay me)

As I turn back to my drawing to try to finish this one today I want to take a moment to thank Joshua, Nathan, and Jay for keeping me going.  I am a frustrating person I know, but I do appreciate all your words of advice.

On a related note once I finish the pencils for my PC race I will post it on here for all of you to enjoy (or laugh at...whatever)  I really want to work more on my artwork since I will be doing most, if not all, of my own art for my upcoming projects.

Thanks as always.  You guys are great!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fantasy Thursday 1

Yay, I am finally getting back on track post wise!

So I have been working out some ideas for my personal system here and there while I do my other projects.  While work is kind of slow, it is still progressing which makes me happy.  There is, as always, the question of what setting to use.  I had been working on a lee-than-'normal' setting involving a mass of floating islands and the like where portals to other dimensions dumped creatures and stuff in randomly.  the problem with that is it is a bit vague and hard for many to grasp.  Plus there is the fact that I just wanted to include way to much stuff that wouldn't make sense.

So I am back to working on Espeth as my primary fantasy setting.  Is this a bad thing?  Heavens no.  I mean, I have so much stuff written up for it that changing the system is a minor thing really.  The important thing is fleshing out the setting over bogging it down with unnecessary details.

And that brings us to the topic of this post... Dragons.  Dragons are, at least to me, one of the most over-used creatures in fantasy today.  I think they are an excellent foil for a group, but throwing them around willy-nilly degrades their threat, mystique, and cool-factor in a setting.  Look at some of the 'official' D&D books of late.  You can run into a young dragon with a group around 4th level?!?  That just seems wrong to me.

I feel dragons should be massive, impressive, and a major threat to anything that comes near them, but they should also be rare.  Granted, there are exceptions where lots of dragons make sense, like the Dragonlance world, but these are the exception not the rule.  I may be crazy but that's just my thinking.

In my world's a group may never run into a dragon although they may run into their kin/offspring depending on the campaign.  I think it is a great idea to have them as a foil, but they should be played right.  A dragon to me will have long-term plans, great goals that can only be accomplished over time.  This is due to their far-sight and long lives.  I mean, if your going to live for ages why hurry?

Of course I am also of the mindset that says that dragons 'alignment' shouldn't be entirely dictated by their color.  I mean why can't a silver dragon be selfish and conniving?  Why must all white dragons be brutish and stupid?  They live hundreds, if not thousands, of years and that surely has to have an impact on their personalities.

Ah well, just a rant from a random writer I guess.  I know that every GM and Player has their own vision of their world and that is a great thing.  There is nothing wrong with being different and playing things your own way!

Keep on Gaming!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Super Tuesday 5 (a day late)

Hello All

Have you ever stopped to think about what makes a good super-hero game/comic book?  Is it the powers?  The flashy characters?  The over-the-top story-lines?  I think it is safe to say that it is a combination of all of them for most folks.  The thing that has been bothering me lately is the general feel of comics.  Don't get me wrong, I love them, but they also frustrate me at times.

I guess at heart I am still and Iron Age fan.  I like the darker stories and the fact that death was an option (well sometimes).  I find that I have tired some of the typical stories, the recurring villains, and returning dead.  I mean this isn't always a zombie story.  For pete's sake just look at Jean Gray.  She has a revolving door policy with the afterlife that makes me sick.

Ah well, what are you going to do right?  I know that it is this love of the Iron age that greatly flavors the settings I write.  I love heroism and noble characters, but I want there to be consequences for their actions beyond a recurring villain and a slap on the wrist.

In the setting I am doing for Bulletproof Blues there has been a massive invasion of the planet but in this case the heroes lost.  The Earth is in shambles and mankind is reeling.  That all being said we are fighting back and there is a chance that the world can be saved if the story-line goes that way.  Basically it is a matter of whether the GM wants to save it or send it down the tubes :D

Things are proceeding well on my Bulletproof Blues setting and I thought that today I would present one of the characters that will be presented in the book.


Alien ambassador and strategist

Quotation: “If you can be calm for just one moment I am sure we can resolve this peacefully.”
Real Name: Unpronounceable               Origin: Alien
Identity: Public                                   Archetype: The Mirror

Team Affiliation: The Resistance
Base of Operations: The ruins of Chicago
Range of Operations: Local

Gender: N/A                Height: 2’ (sphere)       Hair: None
Age: Unknown              Weight: 4 lbs.             Eyes: None

Anya-tek is a glowing sphere of plasma-like energy.  While calm ‘she’ appears as a gently shimmering orb of white but when agitated the glow becomes deep red and jagged in nature.

Brawn               -
Agility              6
Reason              4
Perception        5
Willpower         5
Prowess            4
Accuracy          4
            Endurance        5
            Plot Points        1

Flight               4
Force Field       4
Invisibility       5
Mind Blast        5
·         Explosive Damage
Telekinesis       6
Telepathy         5

·         Combat
·         Manipulation
·         Social
·         Stealth

Master Plan
Perfect Recall

                        Base Move     Double Move   All-Out Move
Run                   60                    120                   360
Swim                N/A
Jump                N/A    
Fly                   1,600 ft.           3,200 ft.          2 miles

Anya-tek is a rigid, logical thinker who values honesty above all else.  Anya expects others to act with tact and compassion whenever possible, but does not extend those ideals to the Collective.  Anya prefers to be alone in order to think more clearly and generates his attack plans with cold efficiency. 

·         Protection: Anya-tek is driven by the desire to protect the people of Earth

·         Enemy: The Collective despises the work of the armet and will target them whenever possible.
·         Outsider: Anya-tek appearance makes most people very uneasy


Anya-tek was one of the most ardent members of the Union leadership to voice the need to protect the Earth.  Anya had been the leader of the observation team tasked to the study of the planet and felt a deep loyalty to humanity and its wide variety of personalities.  If not for Anya-tek’s efforts the planet may have not received the intense level of attention that it gained from the Union.   Even in the days before the evacuation Anya-tek had decided to stay and help defend the planet.  Anya-tek understands that the battle with the Collective may be futile but will continue to fight until the end if need be.  Despite the fact that Anya would prefer to negotiate with enemies ‘she’ knows that this one cannot be reasoned with and that open war is the only way to deal with them. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Random Musings

Hey everyone!

How are everyone's dice rolling?  Well I hope.  Personally I haven't gotten any true RPG goodness in for a while now.  I was playing over Skype for a bit but that hasn't happened for a couple of weeks.  That game is where I am play-testing my own system/setting so it is nobodies fault by my own that it hasn't happened.  It's all good though.  Despite the lack of actual playtime I have been getting work done on two different projects that are progressing slowly but surely.

The first project is a post-apocalyptic setting that I am doing for the game Bulletproof Blues.  It revolves around the world after a massive alien attack and is my idea of a "Days of Future Past" kind of thing.  The writing is almost done for it and surprisingly I already have a few pieces of art started for it.

The other writing project is my homage to the dimension hopping Rifts game.  It is going to be a darker, deadlier setting than my Bulletproof Blues project and definitely larger but I am really digging working on it.  This one is going to take a long time to get done, even for me, but it will be worth it.

On the art tip I am getting some work done for yet a different game.  Yeah, I know I spread myself thin at times but it's good for me to have a lot of options.  The work for this project is going slow simply because the writer has said there is no hurry at the moment.

I am excited for the middle of this month.  I am going to get some face-to-face gaming in.  It is a Pathfinder game with a GM I know and like.  His campaign should be killer just from the few notes he has shared

ACK, I just realized today was Tuesday and not Monday!  Stupid holidays!!  But not to be deterred I will make my normal Super Tuesday post tomorrow then Fantasy Thursday as prescribed earlier.

As always thanks for reading and Keep on Gaming!