Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blogging at the end of the day

Lately I have had the bad habit of putting off blogging until the end of the day. It would appear that I need a new plan. Every day I schedule more work to be completed than I can get done. So the blogging needs to moved up if I am going to do it regularly.

Set 6 Cast cards have been out of print for a while, so I got the Cast set 6 revised for 2nd edition. The changes are all small, so anyone who already has the cards will not need a new set, the Classic will work just fine. The biggest change is that to make the print larger on the cards most of the background information will be moved to the Guideline PDF. Some restrictions on powers got simplified, but, as I said, these are just tweaks.

Game update:
Tuesday nights warp tree was a hit as an encounter. Well, it at least bemused the players. As they walked along the trail towards Dudley's Roadside Tavern they passed many trees along the way. One of the trees had small bone chips on and in it's limbs. It was very difficult (I used a GM MOD of +12) to see the bone chips. When the tree flipped the bone chips into the air the chips grew to full skeletons on the way down. I decided that growing bones flying through the air would make noise. The characters got to make a listen roll and I used a +0 MOD. Three of them heard the incoming skeletons and reacted normally. One, the scout, heard nothing and therefore had an initiative of three and could only do five things this round.

It was at that point that the players found out the tree could also fire thumb sized nuts at them. I made this a poor attack at 2d6-4. One shot per target per round. If one did damage it exposed that character to the TOX. Well, two things resulted from this, one tattoo burned away and the tree healed a target d6 when I had a Terrible Two.

During the short fight the Tigrean scout pulled out a Great Sword and promptly got a Terrible Two. The character was next to a cliffside on the table so I explained that the sword had struck between two stones and was jammed in real bad. Getting just a little frustrated she Streaked the next round to pull the stone from the rock.. In the meantime there were two skeletons after her and they never hurt her.

By the time Foxy got to Dudley's she was depressed and wanted several drinks. When she got inside she found that there was a Das Karr lady server who was a stunning looker and Foxy did not get the attention she was used to. She sat closely examining her drink.

Jinxus got drunk and "lost" his money. Foxy smelled out a warped Orc spy. The elementalist picked up a farm girl. She had a Great time (Streaking occured) and now he has a contact at Dudley's hamlet. A place to hide and a spy of his own.

Eventually the players remembered they were on a mission, we spent a couple of hours playing in the bar. Next week they will get back to work, maybe even get Jinxus's money back, who knows.

OK, enough. Good Night and Good Gaming.

-- Post From My iPad

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sue is Back! Next up Confusion in Troy

Sue has returned from San Jose and returned to the Secret Clanhold bringing warmer weather with her. She had an excellent convention in California. I think she will be blogging about that herself when her brain arrives back.

Right now we are prepping for next weekends Con in Troy. It is about an hour drive from our home so we will be trekking back and forth rather than shelling out for a room. This one is a literary science fiction convention and there is a game room too! We will see exactly what happens as far as the gaming. There should be time for me to talk DS to people who want to at this one. It should be fun.

I spent most of Monday getting our server to act as a printer sharing machine. Our older machine (13 years old) finally gave up the ghost. I think the power supply is gone and the truth is that I do not think it is worth repairing. Anyway, the six year old machine prints a lot faster and everything is ready to go.

I am running a game tonight. I will be placing a Mystic Lodestone that raises the dead from a graveyard. It has been, of course, hidden in the graveyard by a Necro's Apprentice. It has become a problem for a hamlet near Dudley's inn and is therefore a problem. Nobody wants the clientele at such a friendly watering hole to be cranky.

I think I will have some skeletons drop out of a tree, like acorns, on the characters while they are traveling. It is a warped tree. It needs burning.

Ok, I am going to post this and move onward.
Good Night and good gaming!

-- Post From My iPad

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Street Smarts and how we got there.

I posted the first draft of the Street Smarts Anchor and the aces that it opens up to players that take it. This link will take you near the download.

This type of skill set came about from a combination of projects. We wanted to add cards to the Way Of series cards but when we did them most of those were actually craft types of cards and the expansion for them was difficult. We were also working on a new set of knowledge cards. We got several very thought provoking suggestions on the knowledge cards that made us realize that there was a better way to do this.

Street Smarts is something that can be learned through growing up on the streets and something that can be learned later in life. It is, essentially, a specialized knowledge. Some of the new Advanced backgrounds will give characters access to the aces and a character can add the Anchor later in life as well.

These cards, like all DS cards, rely on players to find creative ways to apply them to the world the GM is running. GM's will have the job of deciding what modifiers to apply in each situation, based on what is happening in the world and how entertaining the player makes the situation.

If you have questions, ask them here, or email them to me. I find that most answers depend on what your GM has going on in the background, so I can't answer those, but some questions may need to be covered in the final PDF, so ask now, if you want us to cover your question.

For now, Good Night and Good Gaming!

-- Post From My iPad

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Transparency, let's do it!

We have been rather quiet here in the Secret Clanhold for the last 60 days. The reason, we have been working. A strange concept, but there it is.

We have been creating a system for creating cards, rules, guidelines, adventures, comics, podcasts, commissions and everything else. It has not been easy, both Sue and I are a "little" headstrong and opinionated.

Card sets have to be taken from a pile of 900 published cards and 600 unpublished cards and pounded into sensible nine and eighteen card sets.
From this pile I am creating card sets. These become "concept" sets.

Once I have made a concept set I post it to our server and Sue goes over the sets asking herself if the cards make sense, are desirable, and fit in the Stormlands as she perceives it. She makes notes for me to work with. Some sets I rebuild and send back as concepts, some are moved on to Analysis.

I work on the sets and send them to the server for Sue to analyze. Here she asks a new set of questions. Does it have a theme? Does each card fit in the theme? Do the card rules work and make sense to her? Are the CP justified?
I take her notes, replace cards if needed, rewrite the cards and get the formatting and layout corrected. If I had to change too much, the set goes back through analysis. If it is accepted, it moves to the edit stage.

In the edit stage we start looking at specific card layouts and make sure of the information.
Abilities are Activated, Spells are Cast, everything else is played.
Ranges are self, touch, 10 feet, 20, 50, 100, 150, 200, 300, 500, 1500 or unlimited.
Contests are always stated as: User 2d6+X vs. 2d6+GM MOD
Card type line checked, card title top and side match.
Card grammar corrected, if space allows.
Of course, Sue can still reject cards at this stage and send it back to Analysis.

Once the cards make it through the edit stage they get a card number and I add them to the growing database of cards. The card set then moves on to having a guideline written for it.

Now I create a Concept Guideline. The concept guidelines have the job of helping to add the Stormlands flavor to the set, covering rules specific to this set, add commentaries for each card, and the card pictures themselves. Once I have a concept guideline I pass it to Sue for an introduction, more card commentaries and finally pictures of the cards so people can make proxies of the cards.

When Sue sends it back to me I will do some editing and lay the whole work into a format to publish it as a PDF.

Ultimately we will be assembling these guidelines into books that we can publish through an outfit like LuLu as a PDF or actual book.

So there it is, a breakdown of what we are doing.

I should also add that the card text boxes, when sized at a readable size, have the contest line and about 180 spaces left for explanation.

The reason for going so carefully through these cards is so that Sue can track the rules that need to be covered in the rules she is working on.

We also have to make very sure that GM's and players understand that these are called guidelines because we are keeping the GM at the table as the ultimate judge of how things work in their game. We just want to give them a clear view of the tools at their disposal.

-- Post From My iPad