Monday, September 14, 2009

Long time no post

Well, it has been a while since I last said anything. My goal was to post things on here regularly. But when life gets in the way...that can be difficult. But there is news and I am going to place that here.

U have been motivated again to work on the RPG again. I am right now rewriting and expanding/clarifying the combat section. There were allot of holes that no one was telling me about. It was not till I talked to a complete RPG virgin that I realized there was allot that was needed there. And really in other sections.

So, I am going to get back to it. I am about half way done with the rewrite before anything like fluff or charts. But when I am done some things will be cleaned up, expanded, and more concise.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nothing new...sadly

I am still working to get a couple people caught up in what I would like them to do. Till this happens and I have some gainful employment...well things are painfully slow. Money and food take president over my small projects. But hey I am still writing as I have ideas and people are moving forward. What more can really be said about this role playing game right?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sitting in the doldroms...

Thought I would update, that really I had not to much to update. I have been looking for some work and trying to find a dedicated editor for my projects. After I got very frustrated and generally infuriated, I also figured it would be a good time to relax a little about everything.

So when I have cleared my plate, then I will be more frequent.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The universe hates me...

This week like last looks be be something of a bummer. I have been writing, and tweaking weapons and missiles in Manifest Destiny: Star Blazer. I did some of the background story also. But with real life striking me between the hammer and the anvil...I have not had a whole lot of time for more.

I will try to get back onto some kind of schedule...but I figure my writing and getting things done is better then posting here for the time. So that is what I am going to do. I will see about getting more information out in time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fighters and Missiles and Torps, Oh my!

I have been dedicating allot of run to to my work on the table top role playing game. Part because I have hit a very thick brick wall with Manifest Destiny. And partly cause I need an editor to continue as I can not do it all my self any more.

It is frustrating to know that you do not have all the necessary skills to achieve the goals at hand. Worse is when your so deep into something that you get lost and the only way out is if some one comes in and digs you out. That is kind of where I am at with Manifest Destiny.

So for the time I have been refining MD: Star Blazer. I have been reworking fighters and missiles/torpedo's to be a little more friendly. The issue was that they had to many attributes and I have had to simplify them signifacantly. This meant the removal of things like armor and other more cumbersome attributes and replacing them with a more generalized structure.

This extends to all of the systems, fighters have been getting a rework since they have the potential to be a very powerful tool. In turn I have had to rework their bays to a simpler number scheme and deployment rules. Missiles will be getting a couple alterations once fighters are done. Missiles will get more options but be simpler to use then I have right now. And torpedo's will also get some touch ups to.

All in all I have been filling my black notebook with rewrites like no bodies business. Fortunately enough this is not wasted work. Everything that I am doing with MD:SB will also find it's way into MD at some future point. That is what expansion books are for after all. But till those, there is allot of work to do. So back to my pencil and paper.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Let loose the dogs of war...

Well, after getting the sensor and counter sensor thing figured out. I have been beating my brain out to figure missiles vs craft and craft vs craft. First may be a little defining of what a craft it.

Craft in Star Blazer are small fighter and bombers that are launched from the ships. They are not piloted, more like drones. Well not drones...golems in the form of a fighter that is at home in space. This way they can be smaller, carry more stuff, and are expendable.

Craft are launched in flights of four, and each bay you add to your ship are able to launch up to three flights before they can no longer control any more. When a flight is destroyed, it takes three rounds to get a new one out of storage or replace lost units. But it is still up for grabs if this will be limited or unlimited.

Any way, missiles can intercept craft as well as other missiles. Guns can also intercept craft and missiles using area effect (flack or burst) ammunition. But missiles can do it from farther out as only small guns can make attacks on these weapons.

this interplay of missile vs missile, missile vs craft, and craft vs craft comes into play and something I need to really consider. Things like the damage a flight can take vs that of a missile...I am pondering if I should say that a flight has a total hit point of the four ships and it is only KO'd when all the HP are gone? Or may be if the flight takes enough to kill one craft that they die. It is a little complex.

Any way I will keep beating on it in my head. At least I am still working on things that are relevant to the role playing game side since this can be applied to other later elements, table top or not.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Working out the kinks...

After a long night I think I have solved at least my first kink in my table top issues. I just had to change how I was thinking about the issue. Something that happens allot when I am writing. I was treating sensors and sensor deception as a different thing then the basic attack. Instead I had to consider they were integral to attacks. May be a little explanation.

Every gun on the ship is rolled as 1D12. Batteries are rolled together against targets. A battery is defined by the officer in charge of the battery. And the batteries roll is enhanced by that officers skill and the skill of of crew. That may sound complicated, but the chain of bonuses is very well defined and simple.

Most weapons have a range increment. Guns add a +1 to their attack rolls per increment, while guided weapons get to reroll to see if they lock on when they reach a range increment. For guns this means that there is an upper limit to how far out they can hit based on the target number they are facing.

To alter this and add extra reach, I have added in a sensor roll. The player can roll sensor dice with successes (every other) adding a circumstance bonus to gunnery rolls. this extends the range of the ship, but can also make hitting smaller targets easier.

To counter this though, as there is always a counter, player can equip Sensor Deception gear on their ships. Sensor Deception (SD) rolls versus the attackers sensor strength. Successes with SD reduce the number of successes from the sensor roll. If all sensor dice are removed, then there is no bonus possible till the next combat round.

This opens a more organized can of worms then I had at the time of the last post. And this can be applied to different areas to. Environments in space can be designed to block visual targeting making the battle closer ranges. Or sensors can be disrupted to to make accuracy at range more random. I will have to keep tweaking this a bit. but in the end it should add a good touch with battles occurring at longer ranges making maneuvering a little more important. Or that is at least the hope.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Missiles, Sensors, and Sensor Deception

It may seam easy, but creating a simple opposed role system for a table top role playing game is not all that easy. The reason is once you start you also see all the things that it can apply to. This is what I have run into with the above three topics as they are essentially linked.

In this case I started with sensors. I wanted a system that would add a bonus to long range attacks to have combat that is beyond a set thresh hold. At the same this this led to the creation of sensor deception.

Sensor deception is an opposed roll to the use of sensor systems. For every success that the SD using targets gets. They reduce the number of successes the attacker with sensors receives. the culmination be that if the sensor tests successes are dropped to zero, the target can not accurately fire on the target.

But the applications of SD became very obvious against missiles also. So this has snow balled into multiple roles of missiles and SD. Because as a volley of missiles travels over rounds, they have a chance to reacquire a target. Thus making this entire thing VERY messy.

But in the end I will get it cleaned up some. I may just nuke the entire thought process...I am not sure yet though. In any case, that is what I am thinking at this moment. Interesting huh?

Whipping out the Mojo, School of Water

The second primal element, water is every where. It is in the air, in the ground, and can be found in even the most desolate places. Water is the destroyer and the life bringer, and while a crushing torrent can destroy and move even the largest of stones. It's power to heal and refresh the body and mind are undeniable.

Friday, June 19, 2009

When my brain cells fail...

Not being able to focus is a pain most days. More so for me when my ADD flares up and I just can not retain a strait line of thought. But I am still thinking and I have notebooks for those odd thoughts. So here is one: how can I make MD:Star Blazers stand out?

I am not really a table top player. I think the breadth of experience I have comes from my kicking my friends tail all across a hex map in BattleTech. So I really do not know what is out there. And really I have no experience with space strategy table top.

But my rules so far lend towards a fast game and I have been keeping the system simple. Plus it is all based on the same roll system as Manifest Destiny. So far people have been telling me that that is a good path. But the question is, how do I break this out from the nice realm into the main stream.

I suppose may be that is just a dream...or I may get it right and whamo, it all works out. Not to sure how it will end up though. Well what ever the case, things will happen as they happen and I can not really do a thing about it.

My son will be in day camp starting next week and so barring him being booted out. I should be able to order my thoughts so that I can start writing more in the role playing game and the table top also. Till Monday...or Sunday if I have a thought and an bored.

Now if only Thunt would update goblins... ;-D

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When a wall is in the way...

With kids in the background screaming and getting into things...I have hit a wall in writing the core elements of Manifest Destiny. SO, what I am going to do is take a little side trip into the Table Top rules I have in one of my many notebooks.

I will admit, I am a fan of some games...not because they are good mind you. But because they are different and have a perspective that breaks from the usual formula. Games like Navy Field, Naval Ops: Warship Gunner, and Warship Gunner 2. The idea of being able to build your own ship is something I like. I guess that is why I played Eve Online for two years.

Manifest Destiny: Star Blazers is based in the old world before the time of colonization. Taking place in the age of war that engulfed the player empires and nearly destroyed the universe it's self.

The idea behind this game is that the player can manage a single ship or a fleet of space fairing vessels in to combat. I have looked at different sources and have been talking with people in the field of table top strategy titles and have the basis of a simple system for the game. There are of coarse things to work out because the current system is just about 12 hand written pages. Any way, I think I am going to write a little bit and put what is in my notebook into a document.

Fortunately I am not planning this game to be a two hundred page core book. Probably something allot smaller that can plug into an old world campaign setting. But I must go where my brain takes me. :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Resting your head...

Since my post was so small, I thought I would add some more for today. I spent a good portion of the day writing about inns with in Manifest Destiny. Many of the RPGs I have played always used inns and taverns as just a place to eat, sleep, and talk to a contact. But in this rpg, they are more. After the cataclysm, the inn has become the social hub of those towns that survived.

Inns are larger then many are used to. Able to accommodate hundreds of people at a time. They do not have separate rooms as we understand, instead they are more like a military barracks. Especially since the colonization is being done in a military manner.

The in will be the players home. They will sleep there, they will eat there, they will look for work and get to know the locals there. They may even help the inn keeper or find a good night in the arms of a bar maid there. ;-) The inn is the social center of the MD world...and as such deserves the time I put into their descriptions.

Whipping out the Mojo, School of Fire

There are numerous schools of spell casting in this rpg. The first is the school of Fire. Fire is the cleansing flame, destroyer and renewer alike. The school of fire can be used to light a fire, cleans a poison, heal the body, or incinerate an enemy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Cataclysm

The Cataclysm is the defining event of the new world. The culmination of stupid choices, ignorance, extraplanar magics, and a dragon. When it was all said and done, the Cataclysm wiped the new world of more then eighty percent of it's population.

The cataclysm was triggered by the dragon Valinthax as a way to reset the universe and stop it's impending collapse. But in doing so, a rift was opened and fire rained down from the container dimension that all universes exist in. This was necessary to purge the destabilizing energies from the universe, and they had to be replaced with something to maintain the balance.

Basically neutral to any universe, the energy that entered had one unfortunate effect. As it entered the universe it crystallized, having to conform to the physical laws of the reality. These crystals, when they impacted the ground, created an energy field that would suck the souls out of those in proximity to the crystal. What remained were nothing but shambling husks, left to the collective will of the spirits locked in the crystals.

The crystal zombies started to drag those not killed by the crystals to them. One touch would cause the persons soul to be absorbed into the crystal. In a short time, the major cities and many of the larger towns were nothing but cinders and the walking dead. This is the cataclysm, and it freed the new world from the grasp from the old one. It may be hell...but at least people are free to be what they want.

Friday, June 12, 2009

All Quiet on the Neural Front

Well...not much to say today. Due to a financial crunch I did not have the time to write anything in the RPG. This happens from time to time and it is a pain. Things conspire against me it seams. Money gets tight, the car decides it will flick on the engine warning light. My son is graduating tomorrow from Kindergarten and my three year old daughter just wants to be loved all day long.

I am not saying all these are bad things...but they do tend to eat my time and available neural run time till I am left writing this at 12:27am. So hey, I am not REALLY supposed to say this. But if you wana help me out then take a look and click something adish. OR, spread the word of what I am doing. More readers means more clicky things...and I can tell my loving wife I made more off this then 5 cents.

Oh great...and now my DSL is flaking out. Shoot...I am going to sleep. Nite!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

That pesky grind stone again...

Well I am back to writing the story and history elements of the RPG again. There is allot of explanation, at least in my own head, about why things break from tradition. One such area is in the use of mana to create effective weapon enhancements.

In MD I wanted to break away from the usual +4 long sword or uber death and go some where else. Items (armor, weapons, trinkets, more) will be conduits for energy or mana. The player then can place in the item a focus that gives the item powers and effects that are greater then the base item.

So why do this? Well first this is the natural evolution of what other games had started with gem slotting and such. but more then that, it give the player power and options. A player can carry a series of small light foci, expendable or not, and in situations fop them out and put new ones in to alter the effectiveness of the item.

This also allows the player to go shopping for powers. And instead of having to offer useless items that weigh a ton, more useful base items or foci can be offered as rewards. In the end, I think this and the story behind it will help to set this role playing game apart from the rest.

So, back to the writing...there is more to do and more to get out of my head. Any one have a melon baller?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nose to the Grind Stone...

This one will be short. I have been working on the story elements of the RPG. Kind of slow and plodding work but once they are all down, be they part of the book or not, they will be the ground work for more elements of the game universe. This to me is an important thing.

Admittedly, knowing what the queen ate one day is not that much of a big deal. But knowing where that snazzy armor came from or the history behind a physical modification could help you the player of GM to create a richer gaming experience. After all, the more of the reality you know about, the better your adventures can be...right?

So, I plod on with the writing. I do hope that every one will enjoy it. I know that some times I come into something that I enjoy...and it is in my head. Now if only I could just spoon it out of there a little faster.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Whipping out the Mojo...

Previously when I talked about the use of mana, I also discussed the basics of how spells work. But in this section I would like to cover that a little more and actually kick off a series of pieces I will do about magic in manifest destiny. First up are spell basics.

As you may know, in Manifest Destiny, any one can use magic. From children to bums, there is no limitation on who can channel mana into the world. This is because mana and magic is so common that it is a part of every day life. This is not to say there are not those that dedicate their lives to it, there are. But most people have a few spells they use to make life easier.

Second, spells are skills. They grow as the player uses them. This allows the character to do more with them, no only increasing their power, but being able to manipulate them on a fundamental level. For instance, most area effect spells are stupid and will damage friend and foe alike. But if you train the spell enough, you can manipulate it to only damage your enemies and not your friends. This increases the potential of spells because depending on the way to manipulate the spell, the more useful individual spells will become.

Third, spells are cast using mana dice and not an attribute roll. This is because your not testing to see if you can cast the spell. But to see if the spell survives the trip to it's destination. This is called the focus test, and if you don't have enough focus, the spell is not going to make it. I have done this just because other magic systems seamed so arbitrary. This is more based on science since if the energy, mana, of the spell is not cohesive, it will not be able to get to where it is going and dissipate.

Finally, there are many schools of magic and they tend to overlap. In fact there are three healing spells right now one in each school of Fire, Divine, and Demonic. But each also operates in a different manner. The Divine Healing spell accelerates the natural process and closes wounds by accelerating healing. The Fire Healing spell is one of cleansing, burning away the harmful stuff and using their ashes to aid the target of the spell to heal. While the Demonic variation just forces the body to accept the damage as if it was natural and had always been there. Why else do you think a demons minions are ugly and looks stapled together.

These are the basics of magic in MD. But there is more, next time I will discuss the schools of magic. But that will be in a week, tomorrow, I am not to sure what I will come up with stay tuned cause we will all be surprised.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A little bit of Color...

Sorry for not posting something yesturday, but things have been hectic and I could not get to this or anything really. But for those interested in something that I will be looking to get into the book, then I give you this. I hope you enjoy it.

How could this have happened? We were foolish, we did not listen to them, to him. That damn dragon told us this would happen and now...they are all dead. Faster, yes faster then we thought...and now trapped. It's just me, a couple guards and what is left of the staff. God they are coming, I can hear them trying to get through the door.
Why didn't we listen, why didn't we hear. Did we think we were so much better then a dragon? The arrogance we showed him. But it is done now, the cataclysm has come. The fire is raining from the rift. The people, oh god the, women, even children...all of them are dead. Their very essences turned into those damn crystals. But their bodies...they move, they rise, they walk and thirst. Not for flesh but for life, that is why they are trying to get in.
They want to drag us away, to present us to the crystals. If we touch one, we will be nothing, trapped in it, our bodies looking for more to feed it's tainted power. Oh god, they are getting through the doors. There are to many...why didn't we lis..t.....

- Chronicles of the Cataclysm
- Written by Jeramie Drebin, Human observer of Regent Othelo Valdamark

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Building the Habit...

Well, in an effort to keep things going and build up a steady habit of writing. I am going to discuss one of MD's side projects. This is kind of in the same line as the business, since it is the expanding of the game into other genre's.

As I may have said before, I have filled or almost filled three notebooks by this point. One day about a month ago, I started to play another MMO style game called Navy Field. Not really the best of games, but it is addictive and it is also a play for free title.

As I played, something in the back of my mind started rolling and out came a fourth notebook. If your interested, this one is a black covered wire bound. The others are blue, red, and one of the less expensive black and white string bound types. Any way I started writing in it and twenty three pages later, I have the ground work of a table top strategy game based in space.

I have been wondering what to do with it since it is based on and in the Manifest Destiny universe. It takes place with in the age of war where five of the player races are duking it out in an interstellar war. There is allot of possibility in it, and with some massaging and polish, it can become one of the MD product line.

But I would be very interested in hearing opinions about this idea. Space based table top strategy games are a little rare from my experience. And there really is allot of room for them in table top and computers. I am open to suggestions.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Business and Pleasure

I am writing this RPG for a simple goal, to make some money. Now I am not expecting to make millions. I would like to make enough to comfortable with, more then that goes into the real of creating a broader business and pullin in full time people. But for now, I have to still get the Main book out as I note where it will go. And may be pull in some extra help willing to have their name in it over cold hard cash. Hey...stop laughing...I'm serious.

So the question is, where am I going to go and how will I get this to the seathing masses just waiting to plunk down twenty to thirty dollars for a new game? I will tell you. I am planning two initial books and to distribute them thought both PDF sales and physical copies.

The two books for the RPG are really the same. The first book is the full core rules and all of the fluf. It is everything that people expect from a core rule book. Pictues, story, hooks and ideas for the GM, the whole base system. The second book is a striped down version. This is a travel book, it has just the rules and space for some notation. No fluf, no pictures, no character creation...just everything you need to play the game.

I am doing this because if one or to people have the core book, why then does every one need a copy. Books are heavy things, and carrying them around can break your back. Why carry around seventy pages of story and character creation stuff when you have a character and do not need to story...right?

As for getting the RPG out there, I plan to publish through Their rates are good and I do not have to sell my soul to get things published. I can even offer a quality product that will not fall appart after you flip the page five times. Value keeps people comming back...and I want to offer value. IF you buy the core rules, why souldn't you get the PDF of the same book while you wait for your book?

If you buy the core rules, why shouldn't you be able to choose the redacted rule book instead as a PDF bundle. Heck, if you buy the main book, why not get the redacted book for less as a bundle. Are they separate producs, yes they are. But the goal is value.

There is allot more to this, and as you can see value is a key word to my efforts. So right now I am going to plan out my days for this blog so that you know when I will be talking about what...a little structure never hurt anybody. But needless to say, I am a gamer. And I plan to to offer great value for your hard earned dollars. It is what I would expect my self.

The death of a Computer... (Cont)

Well...the news gets better and better about my poor PC. Looks like it is pretty well out of my loving ability and in need of a $70 diagnosis from my favorite computer people, Micro Center! There is a silver lining at least.

The parts that could take a dive and are most probably at fault are under warranty. So all I have to do is hash it out with the culprits maker. Bad news is...More down time away from my documents and less writing. But I shall prevail in this...or find a way around it. I have some options available to me. Thank the maker for people making free distributed project management software. YAY!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A place in two Universes

Manifest Destiny takes place in two separate universes. The first universe, called the old world, is where the player comes from. While the second universe, the new world, is where the player will end up living. Bot universes present a unique opportunity for the role playing game experience.

The New World is the focus of the core RPG rule book. The player lives a life, becomes a colonist, and then is tossed through a portal to end up in the new world. Never to return to the old world and all she knew. This give you the opportunity to really break from the mold. As there are no archetypes, there is no real establishment, and the character can choose a path to do what ever. Be a raider, a thief, an enforcer, a hero, a guard, pretty much anything the player and the GM can come to agreement on.

The Old World is a place of established rules, of laws and cooperate task masters. Where the rich have the money, and the poor, if they get to rowdy, are hucked through a gaping hole in space and time. The governments of the old world are puppets and the wealthy keep it that way. This is really where your coming from, or being evicted from in Manifest Destiny.

I realized both areas are fertile soil for ideas. This has lead to my planning opportunities for players to play in these areas once I have completed my core book. Rules for table top battles in both space and on the ground. A game where you player a runner, attempting to escape forced colonization while committing criminal acts for the highest bidder. There is just allot of room for things in this two universe idea. That is why I did it...we are imaginative people. Why not use it.

The death of a computer...

Well...after a bonehead stunt om my part, my main computer is a brick. The choices of what could be going on are few. If I got lucky, my CPU just came unseated enough to be an issue. If not, then the CPU or the Mother Board droped dead...or both.

So, this has put something of a crimp in my writing of the RPG. I mean I have a back up computer and all, in fact I am using it right now. But most of my writing is on the one that just kicked it. So my options tend to be slim in what I can really do. At least this thing can, kind of, run Travian and Evony. But I have also had to set up a sitter in travian due to my being off trying to fix things.

Any way, I will try to keep working till I figure it out.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Sunday Musings. vol. 1

Well it is Sunday, so I am not really going to talk about manifest destiny at all.  Instead I am just going to muse a little.  So best I guess to compose some random thoughts.

Thought 1: I have been playing a couple games as of late on my computer.  They are both MMO games to some degree.  But they are web based MMO's.  The first I started about two months ago when I stopped playing Warhammer Online.  It is called Travian and it is fun if not a little cut throat.  The older players can be really nice, or just plane ass's.  But it is a game and what is one to expect right?

The second web based mmo I have been playing is called Evony.  It is flash based and much like Travian, but it is far more complex.  Something that I can really get into given that I like to see and tinker with systems.  It almost reminds me of my days playing Eve Online...Now that game was fun.  And it really was not about the game at all but the people that I would chat with in the alliance or corporation.

Thought 2: I am not to sure there is a thought two...I have been thinking about the sixth race in the game and what it's description will be.  You see there are six races, and at first I only created cursory descriptions for them.  I have been in the process of doing better then that with more detailed descriptions of the in-game races.  The last one I need to do is the Vyrmkin (pronounced Verm - Kin).  Oh when will you get to read about the six races in the game?  Probably when I have some images to tack in with them.  After all a picture is worth a thousand words...and I know you need not reed a thousand words from me in just one post.

Well that is all, I am going to get back to my thinking and games.  And I do suggest people take a look at Travian and Evony.  They are fun, you just have to be patient when you play them.  They can take a bit really to do anything.  Just hope you do not get parked next to close is a bad thing and I will take you out.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Seathing Chaos of Mana

As stated yesterday, there are three dice pools that the player gets.  The Physical pool, used for bashing, snatching, and resisting physical things.  The mental pool, used for mental activities and resisting mental effects.  And the mana pool, the one that I did not talk about at all.  The reason I did not talk about it is because the mana pool is used for far more then the other dice pools.

The mana pool is used in Manifest Destiny to moderate the use of magic, be they items, attachments, or spells.  Items refer to any magical item that you bond to, that item once bonded uses the player as a battery to provide power for the items effects.  This also applies to golemware, also called cyberware in other games.  The golemware draws power from the characters mana pool to power it's functions.

The dice that an item or a piece of golemware use are simply removed from the dice pool like they were not there at all.  If you unbond from the item or have the golemware removed, then those dice are returned to your dice pool.  So the Mana Pool acts as a way to keep players from going over board.  After all if you do not have the dice, you can not use the item.

The man pool is also used for casting spells, something that any character can do.  Spells have two parts when it comes to mana, the cost and the pump.  The cost is an amount of dice that are payed to form the spell.  These dice are not rolled.  The pump consists of any dice the player wants to add in, these are the dice that are rolled by the player and there is no limit.  So if a player wants to roll twenty four dice, then they can as long as they have them.

So why use mana pool dice for the roll and not an attribute?  Because your not rolling to see if the casting succeeds.  Instead your testing to see the potential success of the spell reaching the target.  Casting a spell is easy, but if it does not have enough focus and will just evaporate.  This is what makes the mana pool so essential, since you have to balance magical items, golemware enhancements, and your spell casting against one pool of dice.

I hope that you have found this interesting.  I never really liked how some games used static attributes to determine how the different things interacted.  And I really believe the player should have choice when it comes to what they can and can not do.  If they choose to be a brawler, then magical items can be their way to go.  While a caster would be item light.  It is about choice, after all it is your destiny.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Every one into the Pools!

Before I get into magic, or characters, or well much else.  There is the underlying ground work of the game.  I basically touched upon this when I posted my first post.  But there is allot more that can be covered really.  Now I am not going to give away the farm here.  But I can talk about some of the math, how attributes work, and the perennial favorite of dice pools.  Depending on how long I can maintain a relative level of quiet in the background...I may break this up and post more tomorrow.

As I said previously, manifest destiny is a additive math system using twelve sided dice as the random value.  This makes life really simple as things only fit into one of two categories, the roll modifier and the target number.  As you may guess, the roll modifier is anything positive that helps the person when rolling.  Things like skills, helpful spells, favorable weather conditions...and so on.  On the other side is the target number, this bad boy determines if you succeed or fail.  And it is based on a set value (targets relative size or a locks difficulty rating) and any other values that can hinder the character rolling.  Things like being wounded, loud noises when trying to concentrate, adverse weather.

This simple mechanic applies to almost everything in a simple and standard way, and while there are differences depending on what your doing.  They are minimal and are easy to see.  This really was the bulk of my work...and my first two notebooks really show the evolution of the system from one of complex math and gibberish.  To one of a functional and simple math that can handle the majority of what can be thrown at it.  On to attributes!

I have played many games, and read many more.  And I have always found attributes to be a sticking point in many games.  It has been my goal really to shift things around a bit.  This has lead to my having six attributes that are all used, these being Strength, Body, Quickness, Intelligence, Willpower, and Perception.  I am working to change some of these so not to invite lawsuits...but it has been hard since they are just so perfect for what they do.

Now you may see that one seams to be missing.  That ever loathed by GMs and always loved by metagaming players, Charisma.  Well it is no more, gone, kaput, so much dust in the wind.  I removed it, replacing it with Perception, because really charisma does nothing.  It is the appendix of gaming.   And I changed up social interaction so they utilize other attributes like intelligence (negotiation skills for example), Willpower (resisting influence of those talking to you), and Perception (testing to see if you spot that eyebrow twitching as they lie).  So I have spread out player interactions so that players can *gasp* role play.

Attributes on a whole though do many things.  The first and main part is that they determine the number of dice the player can roll for the appropriate test.  So if your trying to bash some ones head in, you use your Strength dice.  But more then that, your attributes determine the number of dice in three pools.  These being the Physical pool, the Mental Pool, and the Mana Pool.

The Physical pool is the average of the three physical attributes.  So Strength plus Quickness plus Body divided into a nice simple number.  Not to big to be badly abused, not to small to be useless.  Just right to keep you alive and kicking.  The mental pool works the same way.  The mana pool though is different in that it is multiplied and determines how much Mojo you have to cast spells with.  And before you wonder, EVERY ONE in Manifest Destiny can use magic!  In fact, the Mana pool is used for so will be tomorrows section.

To prevent the abuse of pools, they are kept relatively small and they will refresh over time instead of just all returning in one shot.  Players can use them to do anything that the pool suggests, so the physical pool is for smashing, bashing, or anything physical.  While the mental pool can be used for picking locks, chatting up a friend, or may be getting that bar maid in your bed.

Well I think I have rambled on enough for now.  It really is hard not to.  But I hope this also helps people to may eventually come here to have a grounding in what I am writing.  And as I said, I will write a little about magic in general.  I will keep the specifics for later.  Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you.

For the Children: Death to the DMCA!

Phrases that I really do hate: "It was for the children", "We are out of soda", and really anything that comes out of a politicians mouth.  The problem is that I have been faced with a dilemma.  As you can read, I used the first phrase that I rather despise. So much harm have been done cause of that phrase...So why not do some good.

Now it has not been long enough for any one to really know me.  But I do rather hate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  It is a royal fuck up, more so then many things.  I place it on the top just because it is the one piece of legislation that makes almost everyone a pirate, criminal, infringer?  Choose one or all I do not care really.

See as with many parents, I have bought my children movies to watch.  And some times we go on trips in our little car.  Now I do not like to hear the whiny laments of bored children.  So I do what I need to do.  I rip them DVD's and re-encode them for use on my PSP.  I then hand that PSP over with a head phone splitter plug.  And you know what you get...Golden silence for an hour and a half or more.  Something that is rare indeed, and cherished.

Now I know the argument from the MPAA, they will say "Well you can buy a dedicated portable DVD player".  But why should I?  My wife and I are already struggling to put food on the table.  I am not going to run out just to play nice.  I have a PSP, I have a computer, and I have the tools. This is Fare Use...screwem.  CSS is dead and buried.  Heck even BD+ and associated DRM's are dead and by passable.  It is a lost cause really...I just wish they would accept it.

So, I bring my rant to a close, and for the future I place this war cry: For the Children the DMCA must DIE!  I am a pirate cause they made me one...something to think about.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Manifest your Destiny

So the very first post of the blog.  What to say.  This has been something of a long trek for me.  I have been working on this RPG for some time and have been whittling closer and closer day by day.  But things always get in the way.  Finances, reality, virtual reality (Games), and so forth.  But still I continue.  So why don't I just talk about the game in this one.  If any one actually visits that is.

I have been playing RPG's for nearly twenty years now, since I was eleven.  I have always found them to be interesting.  Some times more then computer games have been.  The problem is no system really ever had the right balance to me.  And so a few years ago I got a notepad and started writing.  It is a tradition in this genre I guess.

Manifest Destiny is a game about possibility.  Based in a distant time, humanity has left the physical plane leaving technology in place that make magic possible.  This opened a whole world of possibilities for the children of humanity.  Those beings who we humans had a hand in making, be it purposefully or by accident.  In time Humanities children found a path to another universe.  This is where the player hangs his hat.  Not in the old world...but as a colonist, separated from the rules and shackles of society past.

The game its self is a D12 based system.  Attributes set the number of dice you roll and skills add bonuses to those rolls.  I endeavored to make the system simple...may be at times to simple as people some times miss the point.  But all in all there is consistency.  All of the math is additive, so bonuses go to rolls, while hindrances go to the target number.  The die is the random factor of luck.  And yes, something can be so easy, that there is no need for luck at all.  It has been my goal to break out of tradition though and so my magic system, initiative, and rounds are a little more experimental.

I will not get into magic and the rest now.  But as it stands, this is what I am working on.  I am also working to get an editor so that I can keep my mind where it wants to be.  Working at odd angles and in the shadows of reality.

Currently, I am also working on better race first ones were simple.  But as the image in my mind grew, so have the races the player will know and hopefully love.  So back to the grind and I hope that some one actually reads this.

Note: When writing on the fly, like in a blog, my spelling and gramar tends to get left on the side of the road.  This is one reason why I have been working on getting an editor.  So roasting me alive about it.