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Friday, November 30, 2018

Three Months Later...

Well, with G+ dying a slow death, the transporter beaming a lot of us to MeWe, and my weekly games, I have a lot of new material to incorporate or supplant older versions.

The new Character Control Record Sheet has made a lot of difference in the way the game is played, and with the change in the basic task resolution dice method (still hush-hush), the game system no longer feels derivative of anything in particular.

Injuries are brutal, and the Playtesters regularly comment on how they definitely feel as though their PCs are always moments away from death in dangerous situations.  Feature not bug, trust me.  I've been streamlining chargen to make this fact as playable as possible for when new PCs are needed.
This, however, requires a lot out of me: editing the [incomplete] 'Characters Without Class' section [towards completing it] will certainly be the capstone achievement of my chargen work.

Elemental Blood has really bloomed in this iteration of the rules, and now it has both a measured effect on stats, as well as meaningfully affecting character personality: figures no become much more like their Elemental Patron; suffice it to say that if one likes the Patron, this is much better than if one does not care for their outlook and behaviour.  This makes things more like the Thieves' World NPC traits sheet than the Elan of Stormbringer, but not very much like Pendragon or RQG.
Playing against type is very easy with non-Human PC species (another area which needs revision after the abandonment of more traditional RPG traits).

OK, so this is the part where I mention that I think I may be going the Patreon-based Zine route for 'pre-'release of the material.  That would allow some of the game to actually make it into the world, in case something untoward should happen to me, and I wouldn't breathe my last feeling like the whole thing had been just for me.

On another topic, I have to say that Pandora has been instrumental in introducing me to a great number of artists I'd no prior exposure, and this music has really fuelled my continued work.  Artists/Bands like Heartless Bastards, the Black Angels, Marie-Sioux, Allah-Las, Agnes Obel, Gemma Ray, GOAT (Sweden), Emily Jane White, Quix*o*tic, Marissa Nadler (:: love her lyrics, music, vocals ::), Alela Diane, Scout Niblet, Isobel/Gentle Waves, Mystic Scouts, Fern Knight, The Brian Jonestown Massacre (amazing), ...
Give them a listen, perhaps you will enjoy some of it.

See you then.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

After Watching the 48 Minute Cyberpunk 2077 playthrough vid, and listening to Tubeway Army songs...

Re: Urutsk: I've made some significant changes to character-centric rules, and I feel much better about the way the game feels in play.  Weapons are getting a more modern, catalogue or article, description about their role in society and application, which draws upon my personal expertise and interests, which also feels more genuinely Urutsk.  In short, this polish is on the 'chrome', bringing more of the distinctiveness of the setting, even if it is in the 'chassis' of the rules.

In other areas:

*Ramble about fiction I've read.*

Looking at Harlan Ellison's bibliography, I realise just how much of his work I had read.  I was reading Poe, Lovecraft, and, Ellison, when my old AD&D group were reading all the sci-fi by which Traveller was inspired.  I've never read any of that stuff: Flandry, Lensmen, Foundation...  The closest to Clarke's stuff I got was a collection of short stories.  I think that is why Gene Wolfe's Urth series made such a strong impression: it is closer to Poe, and perhaps even Lovecraft, in verbal texture and weirdness.  Martian Chronicles.  Wizard of Linn (I love Wizard of Linn), and part of the prequel, Atomic Empire (tedious).

Likewise, Fafhard & Grey Mouser: I think I must have read everything that was published back in the '80s, but never any Conan.  Elric, yes.  Corum in comic book form, but never Hawkmoon, etc.

Feminist fiction only in short story collections, and whatever you'd call Lee's Don't Bite the Sun.

Apart from fiction I had to read for school, this list may be very close to the complete, 'fiction I've read,' collection.  Some of those, mainly sociological, 'other'-stories to broaden our 'whitebread' horizons, were really rather enjoyable: Inner city Chicago Black kid experiences; First Nations girl avoiding tribal traditions, but coming full circle; Second American Civil War urban snipers turned out to be brothers on opposite sides; etc.

Okay; I'm not sure what the point of that was, but i thought it was better served as a blog post than a G+ post.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Second Pass Editing and Initial Formatting

Boring stuff to read about, but necessary steps.

Plans are to release material to Lulu Publishing,  and DTRPG (OBS) in near future.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Another View of 'What is Urutsk?'

Urutsk is this:

Everything looks Sci-Fi on the surface, but the ACClarke adage, 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.', is the underlying premise, and there are things out in space which do not meet the Humanocentric organisational aesthetic of machines working towards the weal of society, and are therefore Monstrous, and Chaotic, in a Lovecraftian sense.  Dreamlands Space with Arthurian Humanosphere ('The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.'), Monstrous Cultures outside of that which cater to Human Warlocks, and then we have the Others which intrinsically threaten both ('Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.').

Monday, February 5, 2018

Divorced

I was always prepared to split from the Encounter Critical system if things looked like troubles would interfere with the publication of this edition, I have made the preemptive split, which has required a fair amount of Find/Replace operations as Attributes and Abilities were renamed.  The number and names of Attributes has changed, but now there are fewer Abilities per Attribute, and things were shifted around.

I had been using 1d4+1d6+1d8 as the official rolling method, but after looking at more options, I have (so far) settled on 2d4+1d10, using d12s with 1-4 3x for better rolling.  This has a very strong 09-12 average, and now bonuses begin at 13, and penalties at 08, so more normalised scores should result.  I have, however, instituted an experimental TARA (Triples Add, and Roll Again), but out of 4 NPCs generated yesterday, not one TARA occurred.

To allay your fears, [System Name] is highly backwards compatible with EC, and, of course, other very popular 03-18 Attribute Score range RPGs.  I've aimed for the sweet spot between D&D, BRP, and Kevin S's PFRPG Revised 1st Edition,  with XP tables for each Class, but a BRP-style 'skill' system (Abilities) including improving them through use at the end of each session, and the more dedicated aspects of martial interest from KSPFRPG, namely weapon proficiencies and styles.

Another goal has been bringing the game into closer conformity with Porphyry: World of The Burn, as Porphyry is actually an earlier World Age of the planet now known as Urutsk.

I'm not as far along as I would like on Starships and other Vehicles, having two or three different methods which don't fully integrate, but I think nods from old WEG D6 SW will be the hammer that whacks everything into shape.

Everything is so much more fully done than this post may suggest, but since this isn't a failing Kickstart, I don't need to feel like I'm KenW.'ing or GSkarkaing anyone with my slow pace of production, likewise, uninspired SW movies don't need to be the release metric, so, as usual, it'll be released when it is finished.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday October 15th 2017

That adventure when the Lovecraftian underpinnings of my setting become horridly all too apparent.  The most number of Cope rolls in a single session, and somehow even the two NPCs managed to survive (Wayward Pines + Shudder Island + Green Inferno + Prince of Darkness) in the Drivers' Isles archipelago.  After action debriefer received a psychic burst-imprint of what the PCs had experienced, and they nearly went insane.

Good times: five out of five digits.  0,o

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Urutsk: Worlds of Mystery Combat Notes

Hit Points as Regenerating Armour did not work well enough to merit its inclusion as an Optional Rule because it required more recordkeeping than it was worth.  When used with Hit Location Body Points, it performed the same function as normal Hit points: to ablate with incoming damage, preventing bodily harm (or structural damage).  Projecting its effects, HPaRA would have made the optional Condition-Levels method of tracking Body Points in a slow 'death-spiral' a much longer, drawn-out affair which also would not have provided enough good with the bad of additional recordkeeping.

As it stands, Playgroups which prefer a kinder, more cinematic accumulation of wounds should choose the Condition-Levels method, while goreghouls should chose the Hit Location Body Points method; the OSR will simply use Hit Points and Shields Will Be Sundered anyway, so that resolves itself.

Being a goreghoul, nitpicker, bean-counter, I feel as though that portion of the entire expanded Combat section has worked so well at its design purpose: to model non-cinematic, mundane body trauma in a quick fashion while still incorporating Hit Points' intended function (essentially 'extra lives'), and Encounter Critical's Armour Saving Throw system (Save for Half/Save for None).  My addition of 1/10th AST as Damage Reduction makes wearing any applicable Safeguard (Armour, Screen, Shield, etc.) useful even without a successful save.

The Survival Roll at 0 HP now applies to 0 Body Points, or other, catastrophic injury (terminal Head or Heart shot, etc.), and, as written in EC, reduces the PC's future good luck across the board.

After years of running Saving Throw as after AST, I have begun to run it first, which makes the Mass Combat section easier by simply stating that only Hero, or exceptional figures receive the personal Saving Throw (PST).  Now, so-called Skirmish, and Mass Combat can be treated with the more Armour Class-like roll by the Attacker rather than the owning player's AST.

Action Points have changed EC's: Move, Melee, Missile routine to a Player determined sequence, but coupled with the Initiative Advantage mechanism makes this a dynamic sequence where going first doesn't mean that combats become one-sided affairs.  You'l have to see how this works in your games, but I think it will be remembered as an innovation.

Meat Healing and Stun Recovery and Fatigue and all of that is another topic.

Later,