Friday, December 31, 2010

Making a better Item

There was a time long ago in in the old world when magical items were immutable.  Once enchanted with function, they would never change from that.  This is how it was for hundred of years till a better method was needed.  Not because the items were not powerful, but because their creation was so dangerous.

To make an item imbued with magic required a long and complex ritual with rare materials and chaotic forces.  The risk of this process was that a item could be made of such devastating power and evil nature that it would destroy all that took part in the ritual.  And would then have to be hunted down and destroyed as it would call to the basest beings to protect it.

But in time this changed, with research into the weapons carried on Star Jammer class space ships being the key.  To make the weapons more versatile, their effect focus's were separated from how mana got to them.  This allowed the foci to be removed and a new one put into the gun changing how it worked.  Originally only used on larger capitol weapons other took note.

With the coming of the great war many were put to work on ways to get an advantage.  The Kudu researcher Glinbak Hardnut had been looking at ways to make magical items easier to make.  One day he came across plans for the next generation of space born weapon and had an epiphany.  If they can separate the focus of power from the gun...why could he not do it for a personal item?

Years went by and his efforts moved forward.  Eventually getting government funding and all the perks that go with it, Glinback did it.  He made a safer, easier, and more versatile magical item.

The legacy of Glinback Hardnut is that all magical items are broken into two parts.  The first is the conduit and the second is the focus.  The conduit is the item its self, bound to the character the conduit creates a stable path for the characters mana to be accessed.  But on it's own it has no power.

Foci are the lense for the characters mana.  They give the mana form and function.  Changing the chaotic nature of mana into a stable effect.  Foci can be slotted into any conduit item, drawing mana from the user, though the item, and into the focus.  Then imbuing the effects back into the item and the user.

This allowed a user to change foci at will, to alter his items with out having to carry twenty tons of spare equipment.  Just a small pouch with foci was all that was needed, and it was safe.  Foci them selves did not have power, so the item and the focus could be made safely with out needing to expose the creators to the chaos of the energies being harnessed.

In time this lead to new innovation in magic items.  Mana batteries called Universal Mana Crystals (UMC's), hand weapons that could accelerate a metal slug or launch a bolt of lightning.  Vehicles of any type one can imagine.  And even the great floating citadels of power on the planet Elttaes.

History of Magical Items, Abridged
Revised by Jacob Vanders, Human Historical Corp

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What odd things creep into the mind...

Or may be out of it when one is idle.  Not to things really creep into the mind...oh well...thoughts for another day.  But what I was thinking about before random musings was vehicles.  Now really...what do vehicles have to do with Manifest Destiny?

They have allot to do with it actually.  Magical vehicles that mimic reality, cars that can fly.  War machines that spit fire and bolts of energy.  From a simple cart to a 30ft tall is all possible cause it is powered by magic, by imagination.

What I got to thinking about was how much of the operation of a vehicle in combat is the vehicle and how much is the crew.  In doing so I thought about weapons and accuracy and believe I have a system.  Maybe...maybe not...not to sure.

See what I am thinking about is that the weapons provide the dice for the roll in the form of an accuracy attribute.  And the crew provide the bonuses and skill.  So really any idiot can fire a gun, and that gun can be accurate.  But with out skill, their chances of hitting the broad side of a barn are slim.

So lets say we have a hypothetical tank.  The tank mounts a very good gun with an accuracy of eight.  So the crew would get 8D12 to roll with each shot from the gun.  You then toss in some crew using the same skill set that MD uses skills for general, specialization, and familiarity.  So lets say our gunner is rather new...and between the three he has a plus three from general tank guns, but only a plus one for time with medium tank guns.  And no time at all with this medium tank gun.  So he adds a plus four to all rolls resulting in a 8D12 + 4 for any attack made by the tank.  Not a bad thought I think.

Now this leads into armor also...what to do what to do.  Two routs I can see, both are in MD really.  The first would be the usual, each gun has a power rating and the projectile provides the damage.  If the power of the attack is greater then the armor rating, it goes though.  But that leads to having to track the armor of the tank on all facings and can have armor degradation...kind of messy when it comes to streamlining things.

The other option is a simple bounce/no bounce roll.  Instead of the gun having power, it just does damage based on the round.  If the round hits, another roll occurs with 1D12.  IF the roll is over the armor value, the round penetrates.  If the round is under the armor value, the hit bounces.

Both can allow for effects like armor piercing ammo and the such...and both offer their own unique spin on things.  And this is not even getting into more complex systems like say...vehicle size, its height, the size of a turret if it has one.  That matters since if only the turret is can only hit the turret so you need to know its size.

The things I think about when I can not think about things.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spells and Manipulating them...

Since I have not posted allot recently and things have changed, I think I will go into how Manifest Destiny as a RPG handles spells.  This is partly because if any one ever actually visits this blog and reads it, they may be interested.  But also cause I have recently done work on the second part of spells: Spell Manipulation.

The short of it, in MD spells are skills.  As a player gains experience, they can spend that to rank up skills including spells.  This makes them better by adding a bonus to the players focus test (casting test).  This allows spells to grow in power as the player develops their character.

But This did not satisfy my interest in the games spells.  They needed something else, something that made them more versatile so that I did not need to make twenty different spells that all did the same thing...just that little bit different.  A little simplicity can go a long way.

So this is where spell manipulation comes in.  As a spell gains ranks, it gains manipulation points.  The points act like a open pool so the player can alter a spell to do things its base design was not meant to do.  So the better you know a spell, the more you can do with it.

Spell manipulations are simple really, once you have the points you can put what ever manipulation you please on the spell.  Want more power, that is one point.  Want to make an area effect spell only do damage to enemies?  Well then use the Friend or Foe manipulation for two points.  Want to chain fire a lightning bolt spell?  There is the rapid cast manipulation allowing you to fire the same spell for as long as you have mana in your turn.  Oh and that is three points to use.

There are more in the list, but really the list is not the point.  The point is what manipulations do for spells.  They broaden the usefulness of spells so they are not just static things.  They make them worth investing experience in giving the player more control and variety from something that is truly based on imagination.

After all, I am just making the system and the world.  Your making it live.  Giving characters shape and form with in your dreams.  So why shouldn't I facilitate that as much as I can?  Right?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Revelations about Surprise

I think I may have a path that will work for the surprise system.  Instead of thinking about this in normal means i have to think in a more abstract manner.  Since the system has to fit into different areas at the same time.  To think of the system in absolutes will only cause me issues as I would then have to map out each absolute.

So with that in mind, I have come to the idea of passive and active surprise.  Passive surprise occurs when characters meet with out any use of skill.  Random encounters, bumping into another in a crowd, things like that. While active surprise applies any time a character is using a skill to surprise an opponent.

So both of the examples that I used in the previous post would be considered instances of active surprise.  This way I can make a system that is varied and complete but will also not take the better part of twenty pages to write about.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Surprise and Ambushes

I have been thinking about this for a bit.  At on point I wrote a section covering the basics of surprise and ambushes since they are related.  But what I wrote, upon reflection, is missing something.  And while I understand it...I doubt that others would not.  Especially those that are new to RPG's.

So I have been thinking about surprise and ambushing again.  But it is a hard thing to apply rules to if you think about it.  The reason is how the skills are set up and how certain skills can apply to different situations then intended.

An example: Your setting up outside a a door with your team.  Once ready you kick in the door and charge in yelling at people inside to get down.  This is a tactical application of surprise, but can not be considered an ambush.  May be...

Example 2: You and your adventuring group are hiding off of a road in the bushes.  Their target is coming with in range with a number of guards.  When they are right in front your team jumps out and take the initiative killing three guards before they can put their hands on their weapons.  After a short fight, the guards are dead and the target is in custody.

The thing is how the skills apply to the situation.  For the first example, the skills used are more tactical and related to strength and the body.  While the second case relates to stealth and quickness, the ability to stay quiet.  So how do I apply this to the myriad of situations that can occur.  Hurm...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Time to kick start things...

It has been several months since I last put my thoughts into a post. I just did not have allot to say. MD was changing, I was writing...and life was being a chaotic ball of...what ever. So really I did not have allot to say. But I have recently been poking around the net and found allot of new and interesting things. Well may be not to me at least.

The main thing of interest has been a game called World of Tanks.  Now we all know tanks are cool.  Don't deny it, there is just something about a giant box of rolling armored death with a big ass gun strapped on for good measure that is!  Just admit it to your self and move forward.

Second, I found a site called Kickstarter.  A place where, if I ever get more people following this blog and my efforts to make a game, will be very handy.  I might actually be able to drum up some mullah so that some of my current issues are rendered no more.  Little things like no money to buy art...or help...or food.  You know...the little things.

Third, I found a place called Gameful.  A cute little social site for people like me.  Crazy creative people of all skills that have one thing on their minds...GAMES!!!  In fact this recent post and the addition of pages to my blog here have been the result of conversations with people there.  Who would have thunk it.

So...that is that.  I will try to be a little more consistent...can't promise anything though.  I am not to big on the self promotion thing really.  Always seamed a little narcissistic and I never had a problem like that.  May be that is why I despise the idea of twitter...hurm.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Long time no thoughts...

Well it has been a while and allot has been happening. Jobs, no jobs, ideas, a void of thought. Any way I am finally getting things strait in my head and have done quite a bit.

So far I have redone the entire combat system to make it more clear. Reworked the races to a new format. Fine tuned the front end for better comprehension. And have a tentative list of things for techniques. Oh and I will not forget that I also have a work in progress list for equipment. Fun fun...