(c) Copyright 2009 Kyrinn S. Eis All Rights Reserved
The interesting side effect of a Point-Design system is that a lot of the rules and charts/tables usually found in an RPG are done away with, or at least simplified and consolidated into Character Generation. Without a need for individual XP Advancements, there's no need to list Fight Die, Attack Bonus, or even Spell Level progressions. Gone, too, are Thieving %, and Undead Turning tables. That's a noticeable amount of saved space.
Granted, there are still Spell listings and descriptions, Gear and Weapons, Creatures, and Loot, but that, as Micro20 and Micro74 have demonstrated, that can be condensed to a degree, as well.
My next 'big picture' task on the list is dealing with Environmental Issues: Illumination and Vision, Terrain and Movement Rates, Weather and Temperature Effects, Deprivations, Natural Healing, and Architecture Issues (Secret Doors, Lift Shafts, Vaults, etc.). I will be culling my bibliographical sources, including my major gaming influences (GW and EPT), to get the most concise, least fiddly descriptions and game implications-rules. If you have any suggestions on either sources or pet peeves regarding these sorts of things, please let me know via a Comment. Thanks.
After that, I intend on discussing How Much and What to detail as regards the setting. Clearly, I have more setting than I can fit in the first instalment, and will need to choose the contents carefully to provide a good balance and mix of locales and environs, timeline events and adventure seeds.
I have already received some wonderful feedback on what at least one other gamer would like to see, so if you have an interest in the inspirational materials I have previously listed, please let me know what you would like to see accented in the write-up.
I will say one thing about the setting, and its game implications: There isn't much in the way of rapid healing in this early period of the Autumn Era, which means that the monstrous and mundane dangers that characters will face must be seen for what they are, namely, potential killers.
While magical healing does exist, including alchemical concoctions, there isn't anything like a local good-aligned cleric first-aid station to run to when the tomb-raiders come back mauled and maimed. If that requires of the explorers to bring along healers as part of their specialist contingent, it is important that the players understand this before they set off on their adventures. Likewise, while Undead are perhaps a bit less prevalent on Urutsk, so are those who can affect them, let alone restore the essence-siphoning powers of the Greater variety.
Another thing: Loot will more often be of the sort one finds in Gamma World 1st Edition tables, and by that, I mean random stuff, and most of that is either junk, or only of interest to collectors or sages. Imperial-era 'magic' swords border on the legendary, power weapons rare and their power sources far rarer, and piles of coins...rare enough so as to make finding them, worth the risk involved in bringing them out of the ground or ruins.
Urutsk is not a place where Pegasi dot the sky, nor where brownies, pixies, and sprites are a welcomed sight in forests. The truly monstrous creatures on the world, if encountered by chance, will give your characters a terrible fight, and few of them leave much of their victims to root through in their lairs. Leaving civilised areas, crossing large bodies of water, trekking across the wastes -- these are sure ways to attract an unpleasant death.
Heroism and social advancement are often at odds with each other, as the civilised lands are places of authoritarian customs meant to help insure the continued well-being of their constituents. Reckless and wanton violence within towns and cities is as likely to win death by constabulary and militia, as it is to distinguish the characters as good candidates to dispatch to even more dangerous locales on do-or-die missions. "The wise man conceals his blade in good company and the presence of brigands, alike."
When devices of the Ancients are found, their flashy display will almost certainly attract attention, almost all of it unwanted. It may be prudent to gift them to local officials, as that will certify the intention of working within the system, as well as honouring the Right of rule. "If every man were a king, the fields would run riot with beasts, and the cities turn into mausoleums. Abide the lash of fools lest your turn to wield it is lost."
Honour is not only holding to one's word or oath, but of noble action in emulation of the Ancient legends. It is the sure-fast method to gaining glory. The other method usually involves a lot of blood and gore, often one's own. Götterdämmerung is a cultural feature, and if the gods have the good sense to fight the good fight unto death, you can be assured it is expected of real heroes.
Isn't it much easier to just be a keen-witted, quick-bladed scoundrel? Yes, until you are finally caught by the posse. "The just man differentiates between friend and foe with equity, the rest hide a dagger in their boot."