Thursday, November 30, 2006

[IPR] The Voice of the Revolution Episode 2

Some podcasts are more monthly than others. Due to some technical difficulties, Paul and I squeaked under the wire for our November podcast:
Also, there's an annual ranking of "best indie games of the year" over on RPGNet. If you liked Mortal Coil, mention it on the list! I got some love early on in the thread, then it tailed off.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

New Game Name

After the feedback I've gotten, combined with my own preferences, I've decided on the new working title for The Fifth World. Henceforth, the game shall be called How We Came to Live Here.

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Indie Game Fans Take Heed

I set up a news list for Indie Press Revolution. Subscribe if you're interested in getting updates on new releases, upcoming events, and general IPR news:
indiepressnews@ yahoogroups. com

For convenience, here's a quick link to the group so folks can sign on up:

And perhaps more to the point, here's an RSS feed for the messages:

Which Fred Hicks has added to LiveJournal syndication:

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

[Fifth World or Something] Quest Rules

Last week, thanks to a long business-related train ride, I got several hours to work on that game (not called Fifth World any more). I put together the basic die mechanic, and worked out how one of the types of scenes is going to work in the game. The section I'm working on is about quests, where characters leave their community in search of some item or just to gain renown.

I've ventured quite far from The Shadow of Yesterday at this point, even though that was the original inpiration. TSoY just wasn't supporting what I wanted out of the game, and shoehorning it was starting to really frustrate me.

Here's a basic summary of what the quest system is about:

Characters have traits, which they call on to overcome challenges. I'm using Fudge dice for this, since they have a nicely constrained set of results. The players gradually build a pool of dice to use in a challenge, where + counts as an attack opportunity, - a defense opportunity, and blanks serve to absorb attacks. If a player uses a + on his turn, the target of the attack can either discard two dice of his choice from the pool (the attack succeeds), use one of his - dice to block the attack (the attack fails), or use a + and discard one die to suffer the attack but return attack.

Renown and inside pools can be used to supplement traits in the challenge. Players can also do criminal or dishonorable things which raises their outside pool. I wanted this to be an attractive option, so if a player runs his outside total up by one, he gets two new dice and can choose what value he wants on them. Outside basically gives the GM a pool of points he can spend to mess with the character after the challenge.

I ran this little conflict system out with some friends last weekend and it works quite well. The players, thanks to some rolls that weren't as useful, ended up tapping into the outside option, so the temptation is definitely there. It's also quite predictable how effective a character can be (barring really crappy rolls), so it makes challenges easy to construct. This is good, because there will be some quest guidelines for GMs to build proper challenges for the players. The more difficult the quest the players choose, the more renown they can earn by completing.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

[Fifth World?] Name Changes

It's been a very, very long time since I posted, my apologies.

Anyway, short version, it turns out that another group of game designers is releasing a game in December called "Fifth World," and they very politely contacted me and asked that I not release my game under the same name. Since they are beating me to the punch, I agreed to come up with a different name for this game. After some advice on various message boards, I've come up with a short list of names:

Twin Souls
How We Came to Live Here
Up from the Fourth World
So That This World Will Not Be Destroyed
Into The Light

Feel free to comment on these (and add other ideas if you have them). I've got time to ruminate, and the game's got the working title of The Fifth World until I settle on a new one.

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