Thursday, November 26, 2020

PATHFINDER GOES SAVAGE!

 The Savage World of Golarion?


This interests me...greatly. I have always preferred Golarion to the Forgotten Realms. Bring it to my favorite game system is just locking in my fandom.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Campaign Mapping

 

As I have been fleshing out my Starpunk setting, it came time to create a world map. My first several tries failed because, well, space is just so big. How many planets do I make? Do I name every one of them? Do I have to generate individual governments for each planet? AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH

 

I took some more time to think about it and, nope. I don't. Starpunk is supposed to be a fun romp through 80's inspired sci-fi. Action! Adventure! and BLUE BEVERAGES! It could, and should, take them literally anywhere, just like a good fantasy setting. It's a little depressing to me that D&D doesn't have many of the fantastic environments once found in literature. Where are the floating castles? The islands that form on the back of huge sea turtles? Where are the singing gardens of Ba'ath Shabeb?

The old stories I loved as a child had many strange environments. These environment types played a key role in the nature of the story. Take Laputa from Gulliver's Travels - (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

"He is rescued by the flying island of Laputa, a kingdom devoted to the arts of music, mathematics, and astronomy but unable to use them for practical ends. Rather than using armies, Laputa has a custom of throwing rocks down at rebellious cities on the ground.
Gulliver tours Balnibarbi, the kingdom ruled from Laputa, as the guest of a low-ranking courtier and sees the ruin brought about by the blind pursuit of science without practical results, in a satire on bureaucracy and on the Royal Society and its experiments. At the Grand Academy of Lagado in Balnibarbi, great resources and manpower are employed on researching preposterous schemes such as extracting sunbeams from cucumbers, softening marble for use in pillows, learning how to mix paint by smell, and uncovering political conspiracies by examining the excrement of suspicious persons (see muckraking). "
The best fantasy/sci fi environments impact the story. Do you really want to get that detailed with every village, town, or planet as you make your map? You will go insane. I know, I just got back.
When making your world map paint in broad strokes, HUGE ones. Here's what you need for your world map.


1) Geography. How big will your world cover? Will it be the size of England? The size of America? The whole freakin' galaxy? Okay.


2) Core region(s). This is the seat of power. This is the heart of the empire/ civilization. There are no roaming beasts haunting the streets at night. All is conquered. Here, one doesn't have to worry about the wild. They have to worry about their neighbors. This is the place where espionage and conspiracy provide adventure.

 


3) Fringe Regions. Fringe Regions are the place between civilization and the wild. People have a tentative hold on the area but crime, warlords, and the occasional rampaging creature can ruin a person's day. Divide up some regions (say 10-30 regions) and name them. What are these regions? They might be territories of mighty feudal lords, small towns, or in the case of Starpunk they represent sectors of space ruled by a major species. Make a few notes about what the region is like, what the government is like, and any strange quirks in customs. Keep in mind that even if one race holds dominion over the region, there could be worlds/towns inhabited by lesser, vassal races. The elves may control Garados, but the village of Queensway is peopled entirely by halflings who live under the elvish law.


4) Finally, the Wild Regions. Here are places unexplored, where few humans have set foot. It may harbor ancient ruins of extinct civilizations, creatures that lurk in the darkness, and worlds that cannot be explained with natural science.
And we are done. There's your world/ galactic map, now start making adventures and epic scenery. Let's say you want a land of 1,000 waterfalls and the adventure hook is that some Orc land-developer wants to bulldoze chunks of it for housing. Where is that land? Well, which region are the heroes in? Where are they going? Or where is the most interesting region to set it in? Put it there. Don't draw its location, just make a note that Fallwater is in the region of Carapella and if the heroes are ever in Carapella again, they could go visit it.
Seriously, it's that easy and it gives you the freedom to think of all kinds of wacky places. You only need to flesh them out when you need it for an adventure.


I know I am rambling. I hope this makes some sense.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coronavirus Craft Week 01 - Gamer Box

So I've been watching a lot of Adam Savage's One Day Builds, feeling the week long cabin fever setting in. So I decided to treat myself to a gamer box. My stepdaughter donated the box. It was one of these.

This is what I wanted it to hold:
Full set of Jumbo Koplow Dice
Dice rolling tray
Clay poker chip bennies
Generic villain tokens of medium, large, and huge sized.
Savage Worlds and D&D GM screens
A blank Paizo Flipmat
Pencils and wet erase pens
5 minis
2 decks of playing cards
Water spray bottle

So firstly, the box was well used and beat up, and all the dividers for the top tray were missing. So after I disassembled the box, I sanded it down to strip the previous stain and get rid of the dings. Then I chopped the bottom tray's dividers down to 1 1/2 inches high. I also cut and glued in some more dividers. I did the same with the top tray. The top tray should hold cards, bennies, dice, and the big section is the dice tray. So I can pull out just the top tray to use for most games. I made sure there was a long section in the bottom tray that would hold some pluck foam and have spaces for five of my character minis.



Next I added so,e rails into the lid as spacers, cut a board with a thumb hole to fit in the lid, and I will put magnets into the rails and board to create a pocket in the lid for the GMs screens (once Ace opens so I can get the right sized drill bit). Then I stained the wood with Kona, and lined it with green felt.





The white ribbon in the left tray is to help get the poker chips out.


And finally, I created a stencil with my  Cricut Maker and painted my name in gold letters.


Stay safe out there!


Monday, February 17, 2020

Musings on the New SWADE

Yup, I'm still pouring over the rules but I have noticed a couple of changes I will be making in my home game.

EXPERIENCE

I'm just going to leave the old experience points rules in. It's not that the idea of the GM deciding when heroes level is bad. It's fine, if you have a regular game or granting a new level after every game session.

I'm a gamer of the older variety so running a continual story is difficult as is getting player schedules to match up. So it's hard for me to remember how long it has been since the heroes leveled up. Did I decide they earned half a level last time, or was that the game before (4 weeks ago)? If only there were a way to have my players write down how close to the next level they are.

Oh...yeah.

WEALTH

I used to be really bugged about coming up with a wealth system that bypassed the bean-counting. Turns out, you don't need a system for everything. Common sense works better as an abstract.

No rolls. If it sounds like something your character's wealth could afford, you can buy it. If it's expensive or hard to get, then it's time for some role-play. Nothing is added to the game by telling a player "no, you can't rent a car". If they make a huge payment that pushes their finances, I will just rule that they are tapped out for the rest of the adventure.

CHASES

The new chase rules are remarkably like a cleaner version of the SWEX chase rules, but I don't like the second deck of cards. Instead, I'll print out a 1x10 grid for chases and a 8x8 grid for dogfights, like these:
I printed 4 of these for a game board.


 I use the action card suits dealt to indicate complications just like in SWEX. Other than that, I use the maneuvers from SWADE.

THE THINGS I LIKE

Skill Changes: I was iffy on these, even working out my own skill list. After a while, SWADE's list grey on me. My proposed changes didn't really outweigh the confusion I would have to suffer with new players who read the book but were unfamiliar to my house rules.

The New Statuses: This does streamline things.

The New Creature Size/Wounds chart: I like that larger creatures gain extra wounds, but I still think that beyond a certain size, a creature has natural heavy armor. Just as a swarm of mosquitoes can't sting a human to death (unless you count poison effects), pistols and rifles aren't going to do anything but annoy whales and dragons. So Huge or larger creatures in my games will have natural Heavy armor. Of course, called shots to the eyes and other vulnerable areas will bypass armor.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

An Issue of Tone...


I've been silent for a while. Part of it is chaotic home life. Part of it is I am still developing Starpunk, now for SWADE. I'm having difficulty gauging how silly I want to make it (leading me to create the meme above.

I'm leaning somewhere between Star Wars Holiday Special and Lilo and Stitch. Honestly, the games usually end up like Stitch, but I have had a few players that want something more "serious". When I do, they still end up playing Stitch.

I'm mulling over publishing Starpunk. I'll need to scrub it. I began this setting using Daring Tales of the Space Lanes. I'll need to scrub out anything that plagiarizes his work.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

3 Days and $4,000 to Go!




Kickstarter Adventure Edition

We are only $4,000 away from the last stretch goal! 3 more days to go!

Can we do it? (Of course we can!)