19 September, 2017

#DIY30 #18

18. The wizard has researched a new spell named “Chance Minutia.” What does the spell do?

Chance Minutiae is the micro-transaction bitcoin engine of the magic world. Most wizards don't notice it, it just ticks away in the backgrounds, gathering momentum slowly while magical effects unfold around it. It doesn't seem to do anything useful at all to those capable of sensing magic (or those who cast detect magic around it), and for that reason it's generally ignored. Every time a magical effect fails in the vicinity of the spell, the magic energy is still released... this spell simply absorbs a tiny a ount of the excess magic energy and funnels it to a storage cell amulet. The more common effect of the spell (and the effect for which it was named) relies on those magics that manipulate probability in it's vicinity. Every time a magical effect distorts probability (by increasing or decreasing a die result by a minor amount), this spell absorbs some of the probability flux energy. Not enough to make a successful action associated with the spell fail, and if a magical effect has been used to make an opponent's action fail, this won't draw enough flux energy to make it succeed again. It just syphons a point off the top.

In areas where spells of this nature are being regularly cast, Chance Minutiae might syphon a single point of probability flux energy every half hour or so (Roll a d6 every ten minutes, on a 6 a point of energy is gained...in a wizard school it might increase to one roll every five minutes, in a generally non magical area it might only be one roll every half hour). At the end of the spell's duration, the wizard casting the spell may modify the die roll of a single action by the total number of flux energy points accumulated by the spell while it has been operating.

From little things, big things grow.

17 September, 2017

Instant Kill

In D&D, once you get past level 3 or so, it gets really hard to be killed with a single hit, beyond level 5 or so (and certainly beyond level 10) it's pretty much impossible. Characters reach a point where the number of hit points to take them down just can't really be dealt by an opponent in a single blow.

Some people like this, some people don't and there are games written to specifically avoid this concept. I guess it all depends what you want a game to be about...if you want consistency in story and don't want random whim taking out your characters, it makes sense to have a system in place where characters can't die suddenly, without a moment's notice. If you want dangerous and gritty, then you probably don't want a system where characters can take full strength hits from a two-handed sword and just walk away.

I like the way the new edition of Warhammer 40k has gone back to the idea where anyone could theoretically take down anyone else, a comparison of attacker's strength versus defender's toughness gives a simple die roll target number. Some situations moght see instant kills quite likely, others might see it quite difficult to achieve, but as lomg as there's a hit, then a death blow is possible.

I'm seeing a similar system develop here... attacker rolls to hit (which incorporates Defender's defence score), if the hit strikes, any damage is rolled based on a comparison of strength vs toughness,

I'm not sure where I'm going with this... it's just a kernel of an idea. But I want to play with it at some stage.

#DIY30 #17

17. What political situation existed 500 years ago, and how does its fall affect the world of today?

We should specify here that the question doesn't state that the political situation stopped working 500 years ago...it could have been strong 500 years ago, and just as strong one year ago, only recently falling and causing an impact politically. But while that plays with the wording of the question, it probably isn't fair to the spirit of the question. 

Let's look at something that was strong 500 years ago, but fell during the century after that point. This would be a political situation that may have kept someing in check for centuries, maybe even millennia, but once the political situation had been eliminated, problems gradually crept into the world leading to issues that we now face. 

Words are power, but energy is constant in the universe. So perhaps it is better to say that words are a specific means by which power and energy can be controlled. 

While the last great Ice Age thawed, and the ravenous mystics of the Asian and European continents sought to harness the wild energies of magic through carefully aligned buildings and stone circles, the spirits of other lands were allowed to roam free, their energies free for all to access rather than limited in the hands of a few. In time the lands of northern Africa and the near East lost their invigorating magic due to the sheer greed of those who had claimed the magic. Fertile lands died and deserts spread across the world. The spirits of the region needed magic from other sources and the powerful dynasties transformed themselves into the religions of today...this meant the dynasties would maintain temporal power in the world, and under the guise of angels and saints, the spirits would gain the soul energy of the faithful. Thus the religions spread to Europe, to Asia, and across Africa. The Americas were another story completely, but this is not their tale.

The spirits and magic of Australia remained unfettered by the restrictive words and aligned geomantic magic of an elitist cabal. The people of Australia were more attuned to the ways of nature and there was a more careful balance and deeper understanding between the mortal and the spirit world. The mortals maintained the land, and the spirits cloaked the continent from power hungry explorers from the near East and Europe. For centuries, Australia could have been discovered if not for the cloaking effects of the spirits. But something happened, five centuries ago... something that fractured the goodwill between the Spirits of the Dreaming, and the mortals of the continent. The cloaking effects were negated, and shortly thereafter, the first Portuguese explorers laid eyes on the land, then with Willem Janszoon, Dutch explorers set foot on the northwest coastline of the continent.  With every exposure to the power hungry eyes of European explorers and the ravenous spirits they prayed to under the guise of patron saints, the defences were worn away further.

The Indigenous communities of Australia (both mortal and spiritual) had never encountered such militarised spiritualism and ravenous hatred. By the time the spirits had consolidated their plans and prepared a strategy to deal with the interlopers, the continent had been ravaged. The words of the Indigenous mortals had been obliterated as "benevolent missionaries" brought civilisation to the people, disrupting their cultures and languages, and preventing many of the mortal tribes from communing with the spirits in languages they had used for dozens of millenia. The magic of the land is still being desecrated to this day, along with the natural minerals and resources of the physical world, the spirits of the Dreamtime know that something drastic has to happen soon before they are forgotten and it is all too late. 

16 September, 2017


Next month's posts will be an image a day for Inktober, much like I did a few years ago when I fleshed out the Darkhive setting.

I know I did this another year too...I think it was actually last year, but I didn't quite finish. In that attempt I combined the results from a few different lists to give me my prompts. 

This time I'll just be running with the core words under an overarching theme of 🦊 foxes, or Vulpinoids. The race I started detailing in various game systems over 30 years ago... it's been too long since I've visited them. 

#DIY30 #16

16. Make an equipment list for a post apoc setting, using only things in 1 room of your home. Garage and kitchen are easy mode.

If kitchen and garage are easy mode, then my art studio is super easy mode.Even if we're going with items that aren't powered by mains electricity.

  • Assorted tapes (duct tape, masking tape, electrical tape, sticky tape, double sided tape, plumbing tape)
  • Assorted knives (scalpels, snap-off blades, 3 different swiss army knives, guillotine)

  • Glues (two dozen tubes of super glue, a litre or so of white PVA/woodworking glue, an unopened bliste pack of Epoxy resin, a dozen glue sticks)
  • Lights (two overhead battery powered lights, one solar charged lantern, a battery powered lit magnifying glass)
  • Which brings me to magnifying glasses (in addition to the one mentioned, two on stands, and one hand held)
  • Notepads and journals (too many to count)
  • Two paper maps of local area
  • A dozen recyclable shopping bags
  • Assorted wire in various guages (and fishing line)
  • Dozens of small containers for carrying assorted bits and pieces
  • Assorted batteries and a solar powered battery charger
  • Battery powered radio
  • Maybe 4 square metres of leather remnants
  • Complete leatherworking toolkit (including punches, mallets, cutting tools, dyes, sponges, thonging, and swivel cutter)
  • Paint in numerous shades and mediums
  • Markers, pens and pencils
  • Lighter (with a can of butane to refill it, and a pocket welder that can also be refilled with the butane)
  • Canvas sheets
  • Bottles (some filled with water, some filled with turps, methylated spirits and acetone, others empty)
  • Assorted metal and PVC tubing
  • Assorted lengths of wood
  • Ten ferrets
  • A dog

If I didn't know better, I'd think I was a prepper.

#DIY30 #15

15. Write a pitch for how you would turn a shitty game into a good game. 

"World of Synnibarr with matches."

Bear with me here.

World of Synnibarr has been mentioned a few times here on the blog. It's an over-the-top gonzo extravaganza 473 pages long, so it works perfectly for this theory. Now imagine the Neverending Story as a game, where the Nothing is gradually consuming the world, and you are playing in a duing age where dreams are being obliterated. Players make characters normally at the start of play, but after that point, each player rolls d600 (with a d6 determining the hundreds, then a pair of d10s for the tens and units). They tear that page out of the book and burn it. Any monsters or character types on those pages are no longer available to the game. Any rules that might have been on those pages are no longer applicable to the game, any other rules which refer to rules on those pages have a chance of simply not working...flip a coin. If that page is already gone, the Nothing becomes stronger, the nameless void grows in power and the named world grows weaker. If the die total is higher than 473, then the world gets a temporary reprieve.

After each game, every player uses this method to tear a new random page from the book. Any monsters or characters on these pages become the villains for the piece, as the nameless void has taken their empathy, their goodness, or something similar. Any rules will become vital elements of the next scenario to be played out. If the characters win, the players may hold on to the rules they have torn away from the book. These rules become something specific to that player's characters (but they may be traded to other players diring the course of play). A player may hold no more than six pages in this way, and at any later time they may burn a page to gain a reroll on an action they have failed. If a character dies, a player may use the intact riles in the book, and the rules they've saved personally to create a new character.

Eventually there will come a time when core rules are eliminated from the game, or when the nameless void gains so much power that it is virtually unstoppable. This will be the games climax, the make-or-break session when it is decided whether the world is left to burn, or whether anything can be salvaged from the setting for a later campaign in a different game and world.

#DIY30 #14

14. Roll a D20 and count down that many photos on https://www.flickr.com/explore. That's your prompt.

Sorry, just not working for me. I've tried six times the post the pictire I got as a part of the post... but it just won't connect. Even when I go through n the back end, download the picture that my computer, then try to re-upload it. I might revisit this one later.