21 May, 2017

New Law Imagery

I haven't done much on the blog over the last few weeks because I've been busy engaging my practical experience period in a high school as a part of my university studies.

But I have managed to put together a few images for my RPG, "The Law".

Hopefully I can get back to work on this project in three more weeks, when my practical experience period is over.

18 May, 2017

Menu updated

After struggling to find the terrain tutorial series I created a few years ago, I have just updated the "Other Tutorials" page in the menu at the top of this blog.

I basically just walked a school class of 11-12 years olds through the processes described in that tutorial and I'll be providing them with more details regarding that in the next couple of weeks.

Now I just need to update the rest of the links in those menus, because I've needed several of them a few times over the years and have given up searching through the 1800-odd posts on the blog.

(In the process I discovered that I use the "Rant" tag far more often than I thought I did)

11 May, 2017

Warhammer 40k New Version

I usually don't worry about new versions of Warhammer 40k, but posts like this and this, along with rumours of a new skirmish level game in the vein of Necromunda are drawing my interest.

A lot of these modifications seem to be streamlining the game, and make a logical sense to me.. but I've been out of the loop for so many iterations of the game that I'm really not sure 🤔 whether things are being improved or not in this version of the rules.

Still, it's got my attention, and I'll be keeping an eye on the further blog posts as they reveal more.

05 May, 2017

Critique of the 200 Word RPGs

The finalists of the 200 word RPGs have been released.

I'm not among the entrants that made it to this level, but that's not really important. It a fun challenge to participate in, and as I've said previously, I try to participate in contests like this to see where the cutting edge of game design is, to see what other designers known and unknown are currently pushing with their designs.

I will have a look at all the finalists, and offer my own critique on them. A few people have already started doing this, a few with rating systems of their own. 200 words is tough, I could easily write more about the entries than the length of the entries themselves... and since there are hundreds of entries, it could be a mammoth undertaking.

I think I'll generate a quick rating system based on a couple of criteria, a score out of 10, and a sentence or two on each.This will start by alternating between finalists and random entries, then progress through chunks of the remainder. If I stay motivated, I might even start digging through some entries from previous years.

Criteria ideas so far... (these aren't designed to be judgement calls regarding the quality of the entry, merely indicators about how I perceive the direction the entry has gone)

Setting - (0) No Setting / (1) Implied / (2) Explicit
How well is a setting for the game described in the rules?

Game Mechanism - (0) None / (1) Crude / (2) Detailed
How well described are the mechanisms for character interactions?

Metagame - (0) None / (1) Vague / (2) Clear
How well described are the mechanisms for player/GM interactions?

Style of Game (Keywords)
Parlour - Doesn't particularly have players portraying character roles, but instead might weave a collective narrative between the players.
Freeform - Minimalist rules (if any)
Targeted - Uses target numbers to define success/failure
AW - Has links to the Apocalypse Engine
Cards (X) - Game uses cards, where X might indicate standard, tarot, or custom deck
Dice (X) - Game uses dice, where X might indicate the specific dice rolled eg (2d6), (d20)
(Note that these are my definitions for the purposes of this exercise, they might not match the way others use this terminology)

I'm sure I'll think of more as I develop this further.

26 April, 2017

40k retrospective

I was reading through this article about early 40k, it's a really interesting read and intersects a few ideas I've had over the last few months.

A few points...

I generally agree with the idea that GW has never given a good reason why they got rid of Squats as a faction, but I suspect it was easier to rebrand the "Space Elves" as Eldar (and now "Aeldari" to conceal that origin even further), while the "Space Dwarves" would be too hard to dissociate from their Dwarven heritage.

I miss the bad puns in GW character names. I miss a lot of that old 80s attitude, but I've moaned about that here on the blog a few times.

There have been so many missed opportunities by Games Workshop in the desire to simply sell more minis...again something I've moaned about a few times.

I really miss that early idea of a techno-fantasy battleground. I'd totally love to do a mixed 40k/Fantasy battle. It's a shame the games keep diverging further and further apart.

25 April, 2017

An era has passed

One of the most influential people in my life, I will now never get the chance to meet.

The Author of Zen and the Art of MOtorcycle Maintenance has passed away.

One of my favourite RPGs of all time is Mage: the Ascension, and this game is heavily based on the two books written by Pirsig. ZatAoMM and Lila, both define elements of the game, the former providing a context for the magical attribute of Arete (representing both an inherent understanding and one-ness with the universe, akin to a level of divinity...but not quite, I can't make a glib single sentence description...just go and read the book already), the latter providing a deeper context for paradigms and ways of viewing the universe (again...just read the damn book).

I used to read these two books annually, but it's been a while since I did so. I must get around the reading them again. I've also got a book called "Zen and Now" in which another author and motorcyclist traced the journey taken by Pirsig in his seminal work, but doing so decades later.

I'm going to have to read all three books some time soon to mark the passage of one of the 20th centuries great philosophers.

23 April, 2017