Rising Sun

September 25, 2012 at 10:42 am (Uncategorized)

I just launched Rising Sun, a short CRPG about love and identity, over on Kickstarter! Be sure to go check it out and watch the updates for more information about the game.

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The Mental Yardstick

July 23, 2012 at 10:46 am (Uncategorized)

Its that time of year again when my social media outlets are filled to the brim with my friends flogging themselves for votes. There is something sad about watching this happen year after year and this year I stopped to wonder why. Now I won’t be talking about the award in question except to say that it is a much higher honor to be nominated than it is to win. What I want to talk about is the mental yardstick.

What is the mental yardstick? Its the thing that I looked at and saw that Daniel Solis had put out way more games this year than I likely would in my whole life. It is the thing that I look at and watch Fred Hicks branch out in fantastic new directions while I wander back into my past. It is the thing that fills me with equal joy and sadness as the Podgecast hits 200 and bows out. It is, very simply, how I measure myself.

I know I just made the mental yardstick sound evil but it is not. Each of those ways it has helped measure others successes against my own has also helped me set my course. When I measure where I am today, closing in on year two as a company with two products under my belt, I need to set that measure against something else to give that measure any value.

So this is what I do, what we all do, to one degree or another. Each year I do a reckoning of where I am this year against where I was last year. Last year, I had a product that was and still is languishing in obscurity and a game that was receiving pretty good playtest feedback. This year I have put my playtest on the back burner and started what looks to be a very successful line of adventures. I have another game in playtest that is way off my usual beat but a lot of fun. I am looking a lot more this year at where I compare to myself than to others. This has been a very successful year for me and the year beyond looks promising.

Why am I bothering to tell you this? Your smart people, you already know all of this. Except I’m watching really smart people put a lot of effort into earning an external measure that really doesn’t mean anything useful. Your ability to round up a lot of fans doesn’t mean that you make great games. Making great games means you make great games. There was a time we all knew this and laughed at those who didn’t. Now, I just shake my head and drink my beer in silence. I love you all and I hope you win. Whatever that means to you.

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Monopoly All Euroed Up

July 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm (Games)

The board is 8 spaces to a side.

Players start with 2d4 dice, 2 cubes of each resource and $2000

The player rolls their dice and moves the result +/- their adjustment if desired.

Payday Spaces (2): Passing earns you $100, landing on it earns you $500.

Trade Spaces (6): Players can trade money for resources based on the following scale:
Resource costs/value:
Red: $100/$10
Orange: $50/$9
Yellow: $40/$7
Green: $30/$5
Blue: $20/$3
Purple: $10/$1

Dice Upgrade Space (1):
Trade a d4 for a d6 – purple + $50
Trade a d6 for a d8 – green + $100
Add a d4 – red + $500

Movement Upgrade Space (1):
+/-1 costs blue + $50
+/-3 costs orange + $100
+/-5 costs red + $500

Property Upgrade Space (1):
Steal +1 resource – purple + $50
Steal +2 resources – yellow + $100
Choose what you steal – red + $500

Property Spaces (21):
Unowned properties may be purchased. Landing on an owned property allows the player who owns that property to steal one resource per property of that color that they own from you. The choice of which property they steal is up to you unless otherwise stated.
Red 1: costs orange, 2 yellow, & $500
Red 2: costs orange, 2 green, & $400
Orange 1: costs red, yellow, & $370
Orange 2: costs red, green, & $360
Orange 3: costs red, blue, & $350
Yellow 1: costs orange, blue, & $320
Yellow 2: costs orange, green, & $310
Yellow 3: costs orange, purple, & $300
Green 1: costs yellow, blue, & $280
Green 2: costs yellow, blue, & $270
Green 3: costs yellow, purple, & &260
Green 4: costs yellow, purple, & $250
Blue 1: costs orange, yellow, & $230
Blue 2: costs orange, yellow, & $220
Blue 3: costs orange, green, & $210
Blue 4: costs orange, green, & $200
Purple 1: costs blue, green, & $150
Purple 2: costs blue, green, & $140
Purple 3: costs blue, yellow, & $130
Purple 4: costs blue, yellow , & $120
Purple 5: costs blue, orange, & $110

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Town of the Damned

May 22, 2012 at 10:08 am (Uncategorized)

This adventure is meant to be used with the Dungeon World: RPG

20120522-100706.jpg

Durain Haschek loved his fiancé so much that he wanted them to be together forever, so he crafted a potion for eternal life. The potion granted him eternal life, as a vampire. When Vivian, his bride, discovered what had happened she threw herself off of the clock tower and became a ghost. As a ghost she haunted Durain until he had her banished from his manor.

Vivian then met Gustav, a werewolf and conspired with him to kill her dangerous fiancé. By that time Durain had made his whole staff into ghouls from his thirst and when Gustav attacked he was beaten back before he ever saw Durain.

So began the arms race that cost the lives of everyone in Hamburg. Some are werewolves and keep up appearances and some are ghouls that come out at night to prey on unwary travelers. This large band of refugees is looking like too good an opportunity for either side to miss…

Before you begin ask a different player each of these questions:

Your people have been driven from their lands and you are now refugees in the town of Hamburg, what drove you from your homes?

You and your companions don’t fit in with the rest of the refugees, why not?

There have been many rumors about the town of Hamburg in the last few years, what is the most outrageous you have heard?

Use the answers to these questions to flavor your game. Maybe the trouble that drove them from their home followed them here. Whatever makes them not fit in should push them to explore the town. Use the rumors they tell you to color your first few scenes, play into whatever stereotype they hand you.

Fronts:
The Spiteful Groom
Impending Doom
Durain will use the refugees to create an army and once he has defeated Vivian they will spread.

Stakes
Will Durain get to the refugees first?
Will Durain agree to meet with Vivian?
What will Durain ask of Vivian to stop the fighting?

Cast
Durain the Vampire
Horace the last human of Hamburg

Grim Portents
Turning the refugees into ghouls.
Rushing on the clock tower.
Banashing Vivian.

Dangers
Ghouls

The Scorned Bride
Impending Doom
Vivian’s werewolf army will feed off the refugees enough to crush Durain’s ghouls and then spread.

Stakes
Will Vivian get to the refugees first?
Will Vivian agree to meet with Durain?
What will Vivian ask of Durain to stop the fighting?

Cast
Vivian the Ghost
Gustov the Werewolf

Grim Portents
Feasting on the refugees.
Storming Haschek Manor.
Staking Durain

Dangers
Werewolves

Locations

The Town Square/Refugee Camp
Foes
Sargent Hayworth
Goal: To protect the refugees.
Moves:
Rally the refugees
Protect someone with his shield
Attack you with his sword
Damage: d10
HP: 12
Armor: 2

Refugees
Goal: To settle down
Moves:
Run in fear of the monsters in the night.
Get captured by one side or the other.
Die horrificly in front of you.
Damage: NA
HP: NA
Armor: NA

Environment
All around the cobble stone square are makeshift tents and tarps with huddled people underneath them.

There is very little cheer here. As their homes are far away and most likely destroyed. Sargent Hayworth has agreed to keep the peace here and negotiated a food line from the church in exchange for help with the town’s laundry.

The Sun and Moon Café
Foes
Gustav
Goal: To win Vivian’s Heart by destroying Durain.
Moves:
Appear as an innocent townsperson.
Transform into a slavering beast.
Kill or infect you while in Werewolf form.
Damage: d10
HP: 16
Armor: 0 as a human, 4 as a werewolf

Environment
The only restaurant on the square. Gustav, the owner, has been putting out coffee for the refugees since they arrived.

Loot
Gustav’s china would be worth quite a bit.

Magic
The coffee that Gustav has been handing out to the refugees has been poisoned to make them weaker and more lethargic.

The Clock Tower
Foes
Vivian
Goal: To destroy her dangerous fiance.
Moves:
Generate creepy sights and sounds.
Appear before you.
Scare you into doing something dangerous.
Vivian cannot be harmed or do harm in normal ways. She can only scare you into harming yourself. She can be banished by the use of a ritual or by killing Durain.

Werewolf guards
Goal: To protect Vivian.
Moves:
Appear as an innocent townsperson.
Transform into a slavering beast.
Kill or infect you while in Werewolf form.
Damage: d8
HP: 6
Armor: 0 as human, 4 as werewolf
Can only be killed by silver.

Environment
The clock tower chimes the hour every hour and as the day gets later the townsfolk look nervously at the moon in the darkening sky.

Loot
Vivian’s body lies in a glass case on the second floor of the tower.

Church of Celestial Grace
Foes
Father Gregor – Werewolf Priest
Goal: to keep the werewolves from their animal natures.
Moves:
Cast holy spells.
Transform into a slavering beast.
Kill or infect you while in Werewolf form.
Damage: d8
HP: 10
Armor: 0 as a human, 4 as a werewolf

Environment
A large cathedral, pride of the town, designed in the classic shape of a cross.

Loot
Much of what is valuable in the town is located in the vault of the church or in the crypts below.

Magic
None of Durain’s ghouls, Durain himself, or Vivian may enter the church.

Haschek Manor
Foes
Durain the Vampire
Goal: To end the treacherous Gustov.
Moves:
Drain your life with his fangs. (ignores armor)
Control your mind with his gaze.
Turn you into a ghoul upon death.
Damage: d12, forceful
HP: 16
Armor: 5
Can only truely be killed in his manor. A stake to the heart or direct sunlight will force him back to his manor.

Horace the last human of Hamburg
Goal: To protect Durain.
Moves:
Command ghouls to attack.
Call for help.
Run away.
Damage: d8
HP: 6
Armor: 0

Durain’s Ghouls
Goal: To feed upon the living.
Moves:
Take hold of you.
Feed upon your blood.
Use fists and claws to get in close.
Damage: d6+2, Forceful
HP: 7
Armor: 1

Environment
A well appointed manor house on the far edge of the main road. Horace keeps the house well put together and keeps the heavy curtains drawn. All of the bedrooms have ghouls waiting for sundown.

Loot
Durain keeps much that is valuable in his home including family treasures of those he has turned.

Magic
So long as the manor stands Durain cannot truly be killed and will rise, just as strong the night after he is defeated.

For those of you who are looking for some cheap minis to use to represent your characters (not a necessity for Dungeon World adventures) I suggest these wonderful paper minis from Fantasy Paper Minis

Durain

Vivian

Ghouls

Werewolves
Note: there are two paper minis on this PDF.

PCs
Note: there are multiple models on this PDF.

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Woodland Creatures (AW for kids)

March 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Ok this might be something or it could just be the sum of a really strange week. If you know Apocalypse World you know what is going on here more or less. Too tired now but if you have thoughts I’ll check the comments in the morning.

Set up:
Each player takes a creature and four tokens.

The Mouse
Sneaky: +2, Courageous: +1, Selfish: +1, Helpful: -1
Special Power: Being small.
You took something from one of the other creatures, tell us what it was and take a token from them.
You owe one of the other creatures for helping you, tell us what they did and give them a token.

The Bear
Sneaky: 0, Courageous: +1,
Selfish: +1, Helpful: +1
Special Power: Being strong.
You got in a fight with one of the other creatures, tell us what about and take a token from them.
One of the other creatures is your best friend, tell us who and why and give them a token.

The Pig
Sneaky: -1, Courageous: +2,
Selfish: +1, Helpful: +1
Special Power: Being sturdy.
You got caught by one of the other creatures taking things from the food tree, tell us who and take a token from them.
You stood up for one of the other creatures when they were being made fun of, tell us what happened and give them a token.

The Rabbit
Sneaky: -1, Courageous: +1,
Selfish: +2, Helpful: +1
Special Power: Being speedy.
You and one of the other creatures were running away from trouble and you got away but they didn’t, tell us who and what the trouble was and take a token from them.
You came to the rescue of one of the other creatures, tell us about why they needed saving and give them a token.

Everyone starts each game with four empty harm slots. If they are all filled your character takes -1 to all rolls until the start of the next game.

When you do something Sneaky;
10+: No one sees you or you take a token.
7-9: Someone wants to know what your doing.
6 or less: Someone tells on you.

When you do something Courageous;
10+: You impress people or you take a token.
7-9: Someone thinks you were too risky.
6 or less: You take one harm.

When you do something Selfish;
10+: What you did or got was exactly what you wanted or you take a token.
7-9: Someone saw you and is disappointed.
6 or less: Someone was hurt by what you did.

When you do something Helpful ;
10: Someone saw what you did and is proud of you or you take a token.
7-9: Someone thinks you are doing it selfishly.
6 or less: It costs you something to do it.

When you use your special power you may use tokens 1-for-1 to increase your result.

How to play:

Some woodland creature has a problem and wants some help. Play to find out what happens.

All characters are woodland creatures and they are names Mr. or Mrs. Whatever-they-are.

If no move is triggered say yes.

Let the results of the rolls guide play.

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Reverb Gamers Day 25

January 25, 2012 at 11:36 am (Reverb Gamers) ()

If you game enough, you’re bound to run into someone being an ass. What’s the most asinine thing someone’s done in a game with you? How did you react? Did that experience change the way you game?

I’ve never ran into a really asinine player, yet. I chalk this up to the fact that I have been exceptionally lucky. I’ve played plenty of games at cons and when you sit down at a table with strangers you never know what sort of players they might be.

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Reverb Gamers Day 24

January 24, 2012 at 9:47 am (Reverb Gamers) ()

Have you ever been to a game convention?

Oh yes! I love going to cons! I look forward to each one I manage to get to.

What was it like to be surrounded by so many other gamers?

It is like coming home. If you have not been to a con I cannot describe to you the awesome feeling of being surrounded by your tribe. Go, go soon, go often, just go and find your people.

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Reverb Gamers Day 23

January 23, 2012 at 9:42 am (Reverb Gamers) ()

Have you ever experienced Total Party Kill (TPK), or been close to it?

Oh yes, Several times! Never in a game where we were trying to do a campaign. The module that has ended parties most when I’ve been playing or running is the Fourhcore adventure Revenge of the Iron Lich. I love that adventure even though, as a player, I have never finished it.

What effect did that have on you personally? On your group of players?

Most of my TPKs occurred during oneshots so very little. None of us really invested much in our characters so dying wasn’t a big shock.

Have you ever used retroactive continuity (retcon) to save yourself? Why or why not?

Hasn’t happened yet. There really hasn’t been a need.

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Reverb Gamers Day 22

January 22, 2012 at 4:49 pm (Reverb Gamers) ()

Describe the worst game you’ve ever played in. What made it so bad?

Oh this one is hands down the easiest question I’ve answered this month. It was a Werewolf game at a con. The GM had psyched herself out about having to run the perfect game because she was in a GMing contest. Her nervousness was blindingly obvious and we only made it through two scenes before she said it was no good, packed up and ran away.

Did your fellow players help, or make it worse?

I had never played or read anything about Werewolf before (still haven’t) and so I was taking my cues from the other player and he was doing his best to hold the game together but there was only so much he could do.

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Reverb Gamers Day 21

January 21, 2012 at 11:17 am (Reverb Gamers) ()

What’s the best bribe you’ve ever given (or received as) a GM? What did you get (give) for it?

Huh, the further along this month gets the more I wonder at just how dysfunctional most gaming groups are. Each question, by itself has made me think and for more than a few I’ve had to really reach back into my gaming history to find stories to tell. As a whole though, if these are experiences that all groups should have, the general feeling I’ve had is that I’m glad to no longer play games that way. Bribing the GM is one of those behaviors that tells me that the social contract at the table is completely broken. Open and honest communication is what every group needs to succeed and bribery, to me, is evidence that the lines of communication broke down a long time ago. Bribing your GM is a desperate, end of the line maneuver that is last ditch effort to make the GM see that you have a need within the game that isn’t being met.

Unless you are playing the dWayne system. But then you are not so much bribing the GM as you are bribing the dice.

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