Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Furthering the Stone

A few weeks ago, I mentioned an idea I'd had based upon a stone age setting. I've turned it over some in my mind, and here's a quick idea for how I'd run it.

Take the Legend of the 5 Rings rules. I'm mostly familiar with first edition, so the lack of samurai kata and stuff makes some sense, plus a simple split between warrior and magic user makes things much easier.

The five elemental attributes still fit nicely, though I might rename Void to Spirit.

Skills would function the same, but not broken down by 'unclean' skills. A warrior would work with any animal he hunts, a shaman would speak to the different spirits, know herbalism and poisons (probably), and so forth.

The different spells would still be usable. Making weapons out of elements is easy enough, causing various elemental motions is easy too. And of course, the basics of sensing, communing and summoning elements works fine.

I'd have to modify some damage from weapons I'm sure. I could easily make a stone axe a 3k2 weapon, which is made especially deadly since I don't think there's much in the way of armour to be had. Plenty of other weapons would be usable too, but at a _k1 level.

Seems pretty straight forward. I'll have a go at how it converts to D&D at some point too.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Thoughts on the latest D&D Next Playtest packet

Well, last week the new played package dropped (and then dropped again with some extra options).

My thoughts so far: it looks good. It has a flavour of the older editions rather than 4E, but still seems like a progression from that system.
I'll still have to wait and see how it looks come 2014 when the full rules arrive, but I've already got some ideas churning.

I had an old D&D 3.5 campaign that followed some colonists crossing an ocean. I may adapt it and see how the new rules work in that setting.
Of course, that setting involved an entirely human society encountering demihumans for the first time in several centuries.
The core concept of a recent rebellion against a council of liches is still sound. I'll just see how people take to it. There's obviously a tendency for people to be a bit blasé about darker magic, but at the same time still have very little trust in people that can use it.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Well after yesterday's assorted collection of links to previous posts, I thought today I'd try and actually write something more solid.

I've been talking for a while about the prospect of opening a gaming store. I'm in the early stages of a business plan at the moment, and it looks reasonably sound.
There are plenty of cities in the UK with a similar population but with a great many more gaming stores than we have here.
From general feedback from people I know, and a handful I didn't before an enterprise course, there's at least some demand for a store that works differently from the local ones.
My mystery shopper work has turned up the words 'cluttered' and 'unfriendly' a couple of times, so trying to beat that problem will probably net me some customers.

My biggest problem at the outset is start-up costs. I'm even looking into cooperatives and whether I could somehow crowdsource as options, which I know is more than a little bit of an odd way to go about it. But such is the state of my savings at the moment.

I've been able to talk to a few people already in the retail side of the industry, and not just in my local area. It's been a big help, but I know for a fact that the monopolies on stock providers will mean spending more than I'd like.
The convenience of renting a property with bills inclusive is also going to hinder me I think. Hmmm.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Assorted thoughts

A handful of observations and ramblings. Sorry it's not more concise.

Following on from Greywulf's internal conversation that ended up with a Nutshell d20 system, I started having my own in my head. Along the lines of "is there anything I'd add?"
I think the advantage/disadvantage mechanic from the DnDNext playtest would fit pretty well. Gives the mechanic another outing for play.
I could very easily see myself using that for a slimmed down d20 Modern game. Maybe the modern Inquisition idea I had a while ago would work.

My Romanesque setting seed Republic is still stewing. I have a feeling I might have to end up watching Rome and Spartacus before I sit down and write much more on it. As it is, the bare bones are there.
It might be worth making use of it as an example for a DiceBenedict sample setting. So far I only have the Old Crown fantasy thing going, and that needs a chunk of work to get past being an overgrown DnD clone.

I've finished reading A Wise Man's Fear. A very good book, and showed a lot more of Rothfuss's world off to the reader. I can still see the setting working with FATE rules. I may have to give it a go at some point, and hope no one plays Harry Potter with it too much.
I tried to go on to reading the fifth Malazan Book of the Fallen novel Midnight Tides, but wasn't particularly in the mood for it. A Malazan adaptation will have to wait a few more months at this rate.

I've had a bit more of a think on the Lookouts idea. I think it has some definite potential, and I'll be looking at something with a 2d6 mechanic, like in Traveller.

Overall, with all these little ideas ticking away, I'm starting to get some itchy fingers for actually doing some roleplaying. It seems like it's been a while, and I'm in need of a fix. I'll have to sort something out soon. But first I need to crack on with the business plan for an FLGS.

Quick poll: would you shop in a place called [Insert Name Here]?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Solar diversions

Those you you that follow me over on Google+ may have seen a post about the Hakunin Arcology in orbit above Neptune, or some murmurings about sci-fi bouncing around my mind.
With that in mind, I may as well tell you that I'm throwing together some ideas for a sci-fi setting for my in-development rules system, currently labouring under the name DiceBenedict.

I imagine any talk about it will be similar to what I'm doing over on my fantasy setting blog, Kingsmead Chronicler. Trying to be rules-neutral, expanding some examples of how I have the setting flowing in my head, so that anyone could jump in if they wanted to and expand their own little venture.

So what is this setting called? I've got no idea. I've currently holding it in a documents folder marked 'Sol', but I want to expand it a bit more than that.

What is happening? Well, the idea is to showcase a few examples, but a general gist is that humanity has spread out from Earth, and now its coming to terms with being a transplanetary race.
They've also brought along a few friends for the ride, in the last century creating sentient life from amongst the cacophony of it on Earth. Reptids, Felins and Ursans all add to the mix, though I haven't decided if tey class as citizens yet.

Then the standard fare of cybernetics or bionetics, asteroid mining and space trading, piracy and civil disobedience will likely come into it. Dare you cause a riot at the Phobos Penal colony? What if they send in a squad of Ursan peacekeepers, eight feet tall and built to punch the head from your neck?

I know it's another project beavering away in me, but I figure having a few things lined up for DiceBenedict ASAP is useful in the long run.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Kingkiller Chronicle in RP

I've been devouring Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle for the past few weeks. I'm currently approaching page 700 of the second novel, The Wise Man's Fear. Funnily enough, a fantasy setting rife with magic, invention, religious tension and noble intrigue is doing all kinds of things to my funny little imagination.

So, I've been brainstorming how I'd handle running a game, and where I'd do it. I imagine it would be easiest to throw people into the University and see what sticks. That means they're all in their late teens/early 20s, and all studying to become arcanists, diplomats and the like. It also puts them in easy reach of some nobles (and gambling, drinking and music) across the river in Imre.
It also means I can run a bunch of trainee wizards around a school, and not be stuck with Hogwarts as a de facto setting. I can have them wander the Stacks of the Archives in the dark, around the different pubs and inns of both Imre and the University's surrounding town, send them to lessons in sympathy, sygaldry and naming, and if I get really adventurous let them wander around the Down Below.
That's not to mention a trip to Tarben, or anywhere else in the Four Corners either.

Exciting, yes?

For rules, I'd say FATE would work reasonably well. Character creation gives easy back story, and possible interactions with other characters (plenty of them are noble born after all). As long as I can work out how to balance naming magic with the other kinds. It also works well that sympathy can affect a character's stress track in much the same was as in Dresden Files.

Alternatively, given the strong elements of storytelling and games of chance, hacking together something from the Houses of the Blooded rules might be interesting. My only problem here is removing the unifying background of every character being in the same family, and I'm not sure how that would affect the game of play. I do like the privilege mechanic though...

And then of course there's classless d20, perhaps relying on some kind of point-buy system for character generation and advancement. I think that might require a much bigger hack on my part though.

Decisions decisions
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