December 28, 2009

Thoughts on Weapon Damage

Filed under: Games — Tags: — bilbo @ 6:01 pm

I have always been of the school that weapons like swords really do similar damage but that the varying damages reflect the ease with which that damage is deliver. So, if you were stabbed with a bowie knife and you were stabbed with a short sword and stabbed yet again with a broad sword, you would essentially be delivering similar damage with all things being equal….but they are not. A broadsword has longer reach and greater heft. These are factors that make the potential to deal damage higher. A dagger can be “faster” but that does not balance out against the inertia that a broadsword or even a short sword has on its side.

All that said, what are your thoughts on incorporating these types of factors into your combat? Does it add something to have the same damage for these three weapons but then have reach and heft play in as factors on to hit and damage?

Just the inkiling of an idea here and not even one I might be considering but basically a weapons would have a broad type of damage so say:
Sword, thin : d8
Sword, broad : d12

Long Sword : Reach = 4, Heft = 3, type = Sword, thin
Broad Sword: Reach = 3, Heft = 4, type = Sword, broad
Zwei-hander : Reach = 6, Heft = 6, type = Sword, broad
Dagger : Reach = 1, Heft = 1, type = Sword, thin

In practice:
A person using a long sword would have init over the guy using the broad sword. In addition, the LS (Long Sword) would have a +1 to hit (Reach: 4 (attacker:you) – 3 (Defender : BS) = +1. The BS would have a -1 to hit under similar calculation. However, damage would be 3(heft)d8 for LS and 4(heft)d12 for the BS.

There would be a total of 4 actions per round. This would be ticked off via heft of the weapon being used. So, the LS would have 3 the first round with one left over, 3 the next round with 2 left over, and then the third round be able to take 2 attacks. With a dagger you could go to town with 4 per round but if you are fighting a BS then you would be at -2.

Does this sound crazy or just familiar?

Changing Shields in Iridium

Filed under: Games — Tags: — bilbo @ 5:13 pm

So, as I ruminate on Iridium V2 I wonder if I could implement shields better. For reference, currently shields covers between 1 and 5 areas (out of 10 on the body) and adds to the armor covering those areas with addition points. So, for instance, a small steel shield would cover 3 interlocking areas for 60 points above the points the armor that covers those areas provide.

So, my thoughts wander into the area where the shield is actually performing a different function in that it provides cover or makes you more difficult to hit. Currently, the worst penalty for a shield is -1 to your Defense (your target number on a d20). Now, I am thinking of dropping the areas and providing something like a +1 for bucklers, +2 for small shields and +3 for large shields to your Defense.

Any thoughts on such a fundamental change to a system?

December 23, 2009

New Tales of Gaea Hardcover from LULU

Filed under: Business,Games — Tags: , , — bilbo @ 10:44 pm

So, I took the plunge and put Tales up on LULU. Some things I was not surprised by:
– I needed to pay for a proof. Kind of ticks me off a bit but hey, I have dealt with worse.
– Some elements were not properly laid out. This is a difficulty when dealing with automation over dealing with a person in printing. I will adjust and hopefully the final version will be good.
– Man does it look great! Hardcover, 240 pages, good paper and clear printing. I have dealt with LSO (the guys who do the printing for LULU) before. In fact, the printed the soft cover of Tales about 10 years ago. That was a pain. Also, a vew of the LULU folks approached us at GenCon a few years back and the smaples they handed over were great.

Things I was surprised at:
– An HC priced at 29.99 that I still make a decent profit at via LULU.
– It got here in about 10 days. I was expecting it sometime in January.
– By the Gods, the cover is beautiful!!!!

So, all in all a pretty good experience. I will be posting pictures soon.

A Merry Solstice to All

Filed under: General — bilbo @ 10:36 pm

Sorry for the late well wishes but Theo took ill this past solstice and had to be hospitalized. All is well though and he is back home and happily opening presents.

A very merry solstice to all and may light return to your life and bring you good fortune this coming year!

December 21, 2009

What customers “want”

Filed under: Business — Tags: , — bilbo @ 10:19 am

I have dealt with this for a long time. It often equates to “Wow! That would be cool!!” It is invariably true and honest. Unfortunately, it also seldom equates into a viable product. This is not a recrimination but it is an observation. I have had some very vocal customers insist that a supers game would be a great thing using Iridium. So, I made Supers Inc and it paid for itself but that is about it. Now, you might say, “Well, you made a sucky game…” and that may be so however, this was the game that these customers helped make, the setting they were interested in, and the one they bought when it was done. The point being, what customers say they want is not always a viable product for a company.

It follows then that the company may pass on it. This is not because they do not “listen to their customers” but more that they do, but they just do not think they can make a go of that product in the genre/system/niche described. I sometimes think folks are not aware of this and it then generates ill will that really does not exist.

December 15, 2009

Work on the Iridium Lite CHARGen (ILGen) begins

Filed under: Business,Games,General — Tags: , , — bilbo @ 4:06 pm

I have begin laying the foundation for the ILGen specifically creating the project in NetBeans and building the database. I am hoping to base it even more on rules based data-driven Model-View-Controller architecture than the CHARGen is. That is a tall order as CHARGen is very much designed using those principles.

My hope for this is a create a system that can be used to export data as well as import it in XML format but also I am considering a more graphic interface. Right now, the CHARGen is…utilitarian to put it mildly. I will keep you updated on the progress.

Oh, and any requests? I am tempted to have a GenGen where you can import any stats, any skills, any equipment all designed to be transported in XML format. Would that be interesting or an IP nightmare…?

December 12, 2009

Compulsion of Technology in Sci-Fi

Filed under: Games — Tags: , , — bilbo @ 10:49 am

I have often heard how Nebuleon (and other settings) should somehow embrace a technological trope because they can. That is, the have the tech for transhumanism and do not use it. See, here is how it works. In Neb, you have the ability to make a copy of your neural net, map your neurons and general brain chemistry in order to download it later into a clone “blank”. This makes a great deal of sense to me as it is a path to immortality and thus people would pursue it with great vigor. The critics would then say that it is only logical that you would be downloading these copies into machines and all sorts of variant clones and thus you have transhumanism.

I disagree.

In the setting, there is a sense of self. This is not a transfer of your mind but a copy, an image that is translated. Many philosphers int he setting question that a clone is truly alive. People who are cloned are those who:
1) have no choice due to severe injury, death, or disease.
2) have the resources due to a contract with a megacorp, a military entity or personal wealth

In some cultures, the Gren particularly, it has a stigma and it is unlikely a clone will get a mate. The Gren are very conservative though and dislike cybernetcs as well as most body modifications.

Now, this is not to say it cannot happen and I think that is what folks get bent out of shape on. A Group could most definitely decide a group of humans (viewed as a deviant race anyway) would engage in these acts. In fact, I could see a whole adventure set around a group of borg-like body modders or an AI adventure where the transhuman humans are aiding the Resistance. However, it is just not within the general norms to say “I am going to chuck my body”. I think folks, if they were honest and thought about it as “What would I do?” would see it as very much the kind of thing they would reject. It is nice to think about transferring into Brad pits body but the downsides are often glossed over.

And that is why some tech is used but not embraced. Clash touched on the this in his Persistence of Old Technology blog from the much more practical and easier to understand tech side;i.e. if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. My point would be, there are times when a tech does not fit a need in the culture it serves and is set aside. Does not mean it is not used but it does mean it may end up being used in strange and interesting ways, albeit less than generally.

December 9, 2009

Losing Track of the Game for Want of Reseach

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — bilbo @ 10:06 am

When writing games, I need to do a lot of research. People often raise their eyebrows at that then question how much research do games based on squirrels need? A lot (how much to you know about squirrels? nuts?), but really, it has more to do with how I view RPGs. To me, you (the GM and player) should have a game book that helps you take a short cut to playing. In essence, yes, I am writing a game but also a piece of condensed reference material. Sometimes though, as I am writing the game up I loose track of the game portion and just get into a spin cycle on the research part. Paralysis by Analysis is what they call it in IT. I end up forgetting that the reader most likely (I say “most likely” since some will) does not want a historical account of numerology in late third century Imperial Rome.

The root of it comes down to (and I have been told many times I am quite good at this) making the game drip with adventure and character hooks and giving just enough or research to make it come alive. A tricky proposition to say the least but with great rewards if it succeeds.

December 2, 2009

HinterWelt Happy Holidays Sale!

Filed under: Press — bilbo @ 11:16 am

To celebrate, and thank you our customers, we will be having a sale of all our in-print books. You can get 20% or more off all our print titles from Roma Imperious True20 to Squirrel Attack! Get Mr. Jones’ Nuts through the HinterStore. This sale runs from December 2, 1009 through January 2, 2010.

But Wait! There’s more! If you have bought any of our titles in PDF form, send an email to bilbo@hinterwelt.com and mention this email and the title and he will send you a coupon for the price of the PDF good toward the purchase of the print book. In some cases, this could mean as much as 50% off the list price for the print book. Make sure to mention the title you purchased.

Visit our HinterStore for our print titles here : http://www.hinterwelt.com/HWEStore/

Everyone here are HinterWelt Enterprises wants to thank you for your patronage over the years and wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

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