February 22, 2010

Satire vs Comedy

Filed under: Games — Tags: , , — bilbo @ 11:11 pm

This is a point that has weighed on my mind quite a bit lately. As I write All Squirrels Must Be Eaten, I am constantly evaluating the difference between comedy and satire. They can often be dangerously similar in their appearance. I say dangerously since it can often lead down a path that is neither funny nor particularly a good parody. For instance, today I took Theo to see the Max and Ruby play. It was excellent. It had elements of the familiar mixed with original songs. The plot (if we call it that) was lifted, more or less, from the cartoons and books. No biggy since it worked the same way as satire does. That is, a good satire must have elements of the original but also original elements. To copy a work whole cloth but with funny names will not work and worse, it will make for dry and boring read no matter how hilarious the names are. Original content is key but there must be hooks that draw the reader to nod, reminisce and draw comparisons to the reference work.

I hope I am getting there with ASMBE. I think I am.

February 11, 2010

Aspects revisited

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — bilbo @ 1:55 pm

So, with some more input and some play test, the idea of Aspects growing out of critical successes seems to be a keeper. This is a method to build magic in items dynamically. However, an idea was put forth that instead of all chance, make it point driven. So, we played with the idea that you get 1 Aspect point for your item with a crit success. The Aspect Points many be spent but the total is tracked. Aspect points may be spent for modifying rolls or to save the character’s life or to buy Permanent Aspects. As discussed before with Aspects, Permanent Aspects would be those like Vorpal or Teleport the user or some other special ability. However, if the Aspect points are spent then a power is lost.

Now, I can see pluses and minuses to this. On the plus side, more control and a dynamic growth and shrink making weapons almost extensions of characters. On the downside, you are now driven by a list of Aspects an the whole problem of min maxers comes in. I am not too worried about that but weapon bloat could be an issue where weapons become too powerful.


January 28, 2010

Chevalier Play Test

Filed under: Games — Tags: , , , — bilbo @ 9:23 am

This time around I had a go at what I will be calling Aspects. This is inspired by a designer I very much respect, Clash Bowley over on I Fly By Night. Essentially, Aspects are a free form descriptor that the player can generate and invest experience in. However, it goes a bit further than that allowing the GM to imbue items with an Aspect (or more than one). For instance, the other night a knight got a crit on a bandit that had been plaguing the thoroughfare. The sword cut off the limb of the bandit. After the battle, I told him to write down the Aspect: Vorpal Rank 1 for his sword and to give it a name. He named it Thrond as he imagined it came from the north and had Nordic runes on it. As play progressed, he brandished the sword and made a stirring speech to rally his men against a dragon. I gave him the option to advance his Vorpal to Rank 2 or give it an Inspire of Rank 1. He chose the Inspire.

Now, you might ask, that is fine but how does it play out in the system. This worked so much better than I thought it would. Basically, the Vorpal Rank 1 added 1 to damage roles. I switched back and forth between that and adding 1 die to the damage roll. I could see either working. The Inspire affected his Renown (previously called Honor) allowing him to gain 1 addition Renown point whenever he earned 1 normally. Also, I added it to any skill checks for leadership. This mechanic will have more weight in campaign play.

Finally, I want a method to remove Aspect ranks as well. So, a thought would be with weapons and tools, you could have crit failures do this. Perhaps a save of rolling under the rank on a d20. This means you most likely will loose your Vorpal 1 on a failure but could just as easily gain it back (on a crit success).

I look forward to more play test on this as I think it has applications in Nebuleon, Shades and just about all out games.

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…?

November 10, 2009

Chevalier : The Characters

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — bilbo @ 10:57 am

Well, better late than never. Here are the characters for the upcoming chevalier game on Saturday.

Chevalier Characters


October 31, 2009

Chevalier: Profession Magic

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — bilbo @ 10:22 am

Within the setting and source material (the Legends of Charlemagne), it is not uncommon for a person to have a magic item. This can easily be accounted for in the system as it stands and in fact it has the capability to generate magic items (that I will expand on as I work on the system).

However, I have been contemplating an idea that is not so canon but I think would be very fun. Essentially, magic ability by profession. This would be an option since the Church is so opposed to it but Charles seemed pretty indifferent, possibly in favor of, magic. He has a pagan sorcerer as one of his peers after all. So, the idea would be to give folks the option, for the cost of 2 development points, to be able to cast very certain magic. I could even make the argument that it would not be conscious but that is not necessary.

Thief : Stealth or …
Healer : Healing touch or …
Knight : Martial Mastery or Invulnerability
Minstrel : Mesmerize or Mend or Heal or …
Sorcerer : Illusion and/or Transform and/or Persuasion and/or …
Magician: Control and/or Scrye and/or Heal and/or Summon Demon
Priest : Adjuration and/or Imposition of Hands and/or Sanctuary

As the character gains experience they may learn magic from any profession but it would require that they find someone to teach them which should be stressed as difficult. The Sorcerer and Magician are the only professions that can possess more than one magic at chargen.


October 29, 2009

Chevalier : Erond the Dane

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — bilbo @ 10:57 pm

I will be running a game of Chevalier : The Legends of Charlemagne, this Gameday at Games plus. In it there will be a number of pregenned characters. The first off the block is Erond the Dane. A powerful northman, he has gained the love and trust of King Charles court. Now, he must set out to vanquish an evil that has reared its ugly head in the Empire.

Erond the Dane

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