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Saturday, June 6, 2020

2020! Amirite?

One would think that if the zombies or space rocks don't wipe us out, I may have something to show by 2021, as the end of this year is unlikely for a release, but one never knows.

If I'm smart, I may yet this year release a freebie or a short whatsit.

Who can say?

Saturday, February 15, 2020

ARGUS reborn & Urutsk: Worlds of Mystery update

ARGUS Alternate Reality Games Universal System

One set of Attributes, Abilities, and Skill Spheres, one Combat and Damage system, many ways to achieve the goal of entertaining players with detailed characters and settings, or, you know, wrecking stuff and partying until the next adventure, as you prefer.

* Fantasy Build: gods and magic, blood and steel, clash to win freedom on an alien Earth.
This establishes important prologue elements to Urutsk.

3d6 (or d20) based system

* Tech Build: from '90s techno-thrillers to system space cybernetics, long live the new flesh.
Exists in both precursor time periods and later in the Urutsk chronicle.

0-10 dice pair or 1d10 based system

URITSK: Worlds of Mystery

Using ARGUS to bring the grand setting to life: Pre-Imperial stellar picaresque rogues trying to turn a profit, to the establishment of the Sphere of Stars and its effects on the galaxy, to the aftermath of the Starshock -- in particular upon a cool wetlands world on what was the periphery of the then galaxy, through four distinct Grand Seasons of the decline and rise of the Vrun back to their rightful place among the (remaining) stars.  But, the setting is far more complex than that, with conspiracies, lost histories, and a largely invisible war fought across parallel worlds, alternate timelines, and hidden realms through which mind-bending horrors swim, only dimly aware of puny mortals.

Percentile system

Other ARGUS builds dedicated to genres I love are back burner material for now, but, given the time an opportunity, I hope to bring them to you as well.

Oh, yeah, when?

Fantasy Build is the first to be released, and then likely Tech build, as they help establish the core elements of Urutsk.  I am running Tech Build weekly and writing Fantasy Build daily.  2019 was the 10th anniversary of the two slim volumes release, but I simply wasn't able to release anything last year; I hope to make 2020 the year.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Another Quick Update

Even one of my Sunday gamers commented that I haven't posted here for a while...

Other Stuff:

Formatting the text of my Sci-Fi Homage Game.
Drawing a bit for it.


Still trying to figure out the Characters Without Class XP cost ... if I don't get something for it soon, it will not be included in the main rules.

Writing the chargen order of operations with the character sheet in mind to guide players through the first time.

Additionally, hoping/planning to create a least one pre-gen for each Class.

Starship stuff still needs a finishing bit of work.

I may actually get the Homage game out by the end of '19, but, I think UWoM won't be out before '20.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Confessions of a Reverse Dungeon GM

The Monsters have Unionised and are willing to let Adventurers ransack the place unless management improves workers' conditions and pay. See, Monsters can't go into town for essential services, becoming dependent upon the Owner of the Dungeon to provide fodder, healthcare, ongoing education, childcare, etc.

Since most Dungeon Owners and their despotic Mangers at best neglect their Monsters, and at worst abandon them to the mercies of Reaction Chart Old School (drop loot and food to avoid combat) or Kill-'Em-All Hack-n-Slashers (who don't even get a name until 3rd level), it has become increasingly necessary for monsters to band together despite natural antipathies brought about over competition for resources (Monster on Monster crime has been an under reported aspect of Commercially Operated Dungeons for decades, if not centuries).

Is it any wonder that while many Adventurers have become softer-hearted, and some Monsters have found a soapbox from which to decry their oppression (workplace injury rates for Monsters do not take into account wounds or fatalities caused by Adventurers), Dungeon Owners are switching to a Monstrous Dungeon model, where a living macroorganism (Giant Mimic disguised as a Dungeon) is purchased from Skunkwork Wizardry sites and replaces the need for construction crews and Monster employees. The Dungeon-Monster simply grows as it is fed, with the occasional stocking of trinkets is performed by off-site service contract personnel (often Humanoid, or even Demi-Human or Human veterans unable to adjust to commoner life after all of the killing).

Dungeon Politics is a complex, multi-sided issue, but one thing is certain, Dungeon Owners are getting something out of the cycle which cannot easily be sussed out; if it isn't money, what is the draw?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

James Mishler Games' Recent Labyrinth Lord Products

Overdue review:

James Mishler has been kind enough to furnish me with a pdf copy of three of his new products designed for Labyrinth Lord (and Advanced Edition), although these will be of benefit to all other Old School groups.






The Quick Start Character Race & Class Sheets By-the-Book are a condensed chargen guide for each of the three components, to be printed out, and handed to the player, providing them with all of the essential information to create their new character.

In combination with the Advanced Labyrinth Lord Character Record Sheet, the Quick-Start sheets provide everything necessary to determine stat minima, bonuses, special abilities, class features, as well as Hit Dice, Hit Points, and, required XP for 2nd level.  The time savings alone justify the existence of the Quick-Start sheets; don't underestimate their usefulness to veteran players; after all, starting PCs are easy to lose even when run by experienced old hands.

For the LabyLord, the Adventure Record Sheets keeps track of essential data used in each session:

Session Party Members
Locations Explored
NPCs Encountered
Information Learned
Monsters Killed
Treasures Won
Henchmen & Hirelings
Division of Spoils & XP
Mysteries & Loose Ends
Character Adventure Record
Labyrinth Lord Adventure Log
(Marching Order, Light tracker, Monster details)

The only criticism I have of the LL Record Sheets is that the individual Attribute abbreviations (Str, Dex, etc.) are not included, forcing LabyLords to rely on notoriously dodgy handwriting in a small space to track scores for those secret rolls.  We strive to avoid the, 'What is Zarbur's Wisdom score', situation which alerts players to character peril.  Perhaps James will be able to revise this one facet, or, I'll get over it.

Monday, March 25, 2019

The New Zoo Crew (2?)

1 Swamp 'Troglodyte' Wetlander Scout
1 Cephalomalian Wetlander Psion
1 Skyger Technician

There appears to be a burgeoning land-grab on ___-Beta, a Warm Terrestrial world with 60-something percent surface water; one of two livable worlds in a Binary Star system.

Almost all of the indigenous sentient avianoids have either left the world, or died on Beta, and the Wetlander expansion into the system has only sped this process. Now, even an Abbekqorru mercenary group have entered the system en route for Beta, as the crew of the Scout ship pulls a dangerous Half-Hyperdrive in-system manoeuvre (blowing out a component which will be very costly to replace on the Betan frontier).

This is an era of Hyperdrives, before Warp-, and before Jump-drives. The necessity to take long and circuitous routes to systems physically adjacent, but without direct Hyperspace lane access makes for a method similar to Traveller Jump limitations where some systems will remain out of reach even with a J6, and anyone with a Warp drive will be immensely rich.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

How does this 'homage system' advance long-awaited UWoM?

So, another off week after the abrupt return home for a daddy player. This is the homage rpg playtest week game.

I have two subsector maps ready, the first to transcribe my notebook paper depiction of the border region the first two sets of PCs were adventuring. The new one is for the further off section of the (somewhat heavily-) implied setting. I can't see a reason not to include a spacewarp connection between the two maps, so, that will likely happen.

This work has helped solidify the procedural chargen of Urutsk, especially the class-level based mini-game which we haven't used in ... has it really been, 'years'? The homage system is roughly half-scale mechanisms-wise, and there is even a quasi-percentile chart to aid in the conversion between systems (and time periods). It is especially important in bridging Porphyry: World of The Burn, with Urutsk: Worlds of Mystery, both mechanically, as well as thematically.

Let's see...
As far as the homage system, I still need to finish worldgen, add ship components/systems, and include a few spot rules. I'm not sure if this will actually come in under my original page count, but it should be close.