30 April, 2015

A Quick Guide to Resin Moulding

A few years ago, someone asked me fr a quick guide to my methodsfor creating resin moulds and casting with resin.

I wrote them up these two sheets.

Today's effort cleaning up some old paperwork found all sorts of documentation, sketches and notes. I'm not sure if it's been previously posted (in fact, I'm pretty sure that I haven't posted it), and since people seem to like my tutorials I figured I'd make sure it made an appearance.


 This is just one of many things that may be making an appearance over the next couple of days.

29 April, 2015

Working on the text for the "One Page Dungeon"

Current Draft...

The Harpy Pit
Feel free to exchange harpies with your favoured winged menace

Pit Wall Exploration

Making one loop of the pit is treacherous and slow work that takes two hours.

Roll a die for each 2 hour period of exploration (or part thereof),


0
A number of harpies equal to half the current pit level attack.
1
A harpy attacks.
2
Slippery slope (mark this on the map), succeed in a dexterity/reflexes check, or suffer injury when you drop 10 metres/30ft to the next pit path.
3
Slow ground (mark this on the map), this ground is rough and takes twice as long to pass.
4-5
Nothing happens
6
You find a secluded space suitable for camping (Mark this on map).
For every 12 hours of exploration use a ration of food and water.

If you pass through a designated danger zone 1 from your roll. 

Cave Exploration

When you reach an unmarked cave entrance, write a letter on it (starting with A,B,C, etc.), it is now considered marked. Indicate the direction you want to go (up or down), then make a navigation/spelunking role (if your game uses such things, otherwise some kind of intelligence role). Exploring a cave takes an hour unless otherwise indicated.

Then Roll 4d6

If the player succeeded, they may choose 3 dice and allocate them.

If the player failed, the GM may choose 3 dice and allocate them.

Die
Movement
Dangers
Treasures
1
Emerge three levels in the wrong direction, from the nearest unmarked cave entrance.
Lethal Danger – A number of degenerate and mutated adventurers (with total hit dice roughly twice the pit level emerged from)
No Treasure
2
Emerge a level in the wrong direction, from the nearest unmarked cave entrance.
Major Danger – A veteran party of rival explorers (with total hit dice roughly equal to the pit level emerged from)
Common Treasure – A few bits of damaged adventuring gear (worth a number of coins roughly equal to half the pit level emerged from)
3
Emerge from the nearest unmarked cave entrance in the wrong direction 
Major Inconvenience – This cave loops and takes many hours (3d6), and is strenuous work. Use up a food and a water ration per party member.
Tradable Treasure – Some pieces of working adventuring gear (worth a number of coins roughly equal to the pit level emerged from)
4
Emerge from the nearest unmarked cave entrance in the right direction
Minor Danger – A competitive but inexperienced group of rival adventurers (with total hit dice roughly half that of the pit level emerged from)
Useful Treasure – A few pieces of working adventuring gear (worth a number of coins roughly equal to twice the pit level emerged from)
5
Emerge two levels in the right direction, and find the nearest unmarked cave entrance.
Minor Inconvenience – This cave takes a few hours (2d4), and is strenuous work. Use up a food and a water ration per party member.   
Valuable Treasure – Antique items that may be useful but are more valuable to collectors (worth a number of coins roughly equal to five times the pit level emerged from)
6
Emerge four levels in the right direction, and find the nearest unmarked cave entrance.
No Dangers
Rare Treasure – An assortment of lesser goods, and one rare highly sought piece (worth a number of coins roughly equal to ten times the pit level emerged from)
On emerging, mark the cave entrance you emerge from with the same letter as the cave entrance you entered.

Example: Characters win the roll, they start on the tenth level of the pit. The roll is 2,3,5,6. 5 is allocated to movement (emerge on level 12), 3 to dangers (reroll of 3d6 says it takes 11 hours), and 6 to treasures (the party finds treasures worth 10 times the emergent level of 12, or 120 coins).

If you roll multiple dice with the same number, a special event occurs (regardless of whether these dice are chosen)

Doubles
(if there are two sets of doubles, both occur)

11
The cave passage is a dead end.
22
As well as anything else, the cave passage is filled with toxic gases (unsuccessful save causes victim to pass out).
33
The cave intersects an underground river,   any water-skins or bottles may be refilled here.
44
Lost explorers wander these parts of the   cave, they are injured, hungry and tired.
55
The cave passage is filled with arcane markings that form a vague map of the pit. You may choose to reroll the exploration dice on you next turn.  
66
The cave passage leads to the closest unmarked entrance to the nearest settlement.


Triples

111
This cave bears all the signs of being warded or cursed by an ancient shaman. Were they keeping something in, or something out?
222
This cave is an unmarked harpy nest (it contains a number of harpies equal to the pit level emerged from)
333
In the depths of this cave is a chamber filled with edible mushrooms. Each party member may restock with 1d6 food rations (once only).
444
This cave has recently been used as an encampment location for another band of explorers.
555
The cave has obviously been worked by miners in the recent past, there are d6 uncut gemstones lying scattered across the floor.
666
This cave has been riddled with cult symbols, successfully deciphering these avoids any dangers the next time a cave is explored.


Small Upper Settlement – Walker’s Rest

The proprietor of this establishment stocks a range of foodstuffs as well as water-skins containing an assortment of drinks. She pays low rates for any trinkets picked up in the caves (50% of cost price), and often fixes broken equipment before onselling it to adventurers planning to head down further into the pit. She also offers lodgings for a night at a reasonable price.

Large Settlement – The Halfpit

The adventurers who settled here make a lucrative trade with the explorers who regularly travel up and down the pit. Food and drink are available here at twice the normal costs, as are lodgings (at a more reasonable rate). There is a 50% chance of another adventuring party, or a visiting healer who might offer their services for a price. A range of various equipment can be found for sale (roughly what you’d find in a small town market, with the occasional rare item), prices here are about 50% more than you’d expect elsewhere.  

Small Lower Settlement – Mistdrift


An old mystic sits in a half decayed structure that looks like one of the old ruined temples scattered throughout the hidden corners of the world. Every 2 hours, there is a 75% chance he’ll be meditating in a mystic trance to maintain the sacred barrier that prevents untold horrors from emerging through the rolling clouds beneath. If he is awake, he will fully heal and rejuvenate (remove hunger or thirst) anyone who asks for his assistance. He has nothing to sell, but anyone may make camp here at no cost.  

28 April, 2015

One Page Dungeon WIP

I totally didn't realise that we were most of the way through the One-Page Dungeon contest, so I've started scribbling some ideas down. An ancient and degraded pit carved into the ground long before anyone can remember, there is a long winding spiral pathway from top to bottom (and a few settlements that see just enough traffic from travelling adventurers to remain viable trading posts). The walls are riddled with mines and caves, and journeying into one of them may lead you through a labyrinth and out through another. Mystic energy and swirling vortexes mean that travellers generally cannot fly down the shaft, and even if they do risk the winds, there are nests of harpies and other dangerous creatures also willing to take that risk for a quick feed. Going into the caves can be just as dangerous.


More shading, and some quick text rules to explain how it works, and it will be ready to submit.

26 April, 2015

How much can you say without words?

"I am Groot"

It's not a lot but context is important and can turn a simple phrase into something funny, deep, confusing, or serious.

Between studying Pragmatics (the use of language in context), and the current 200 word RPG design contest, I'm really thinking about ways to maximise the use of language by providing a quick context, then minimising the remaining word count. 

I'm wondering if it would be too much of a cheat to use images and iconography to get meanings across, it would certainly do the job effectively...but are the images just a proxy for words?

Hmm... This could get dangerous.

25 April, 2015

Reliquary - A second 200 word RPG


This one's more of a storytelling game than an RPG, with players taking the roles of Spirit-imbued Relics trying to convince a thief that they need to get away from the treasure hoard and back into circulation in the world.

Reliquary

24 April, 2015

Redacted - a 200 word RPG

OK, here it is.



200 Word RPGs

There's this thing going around at the moment where people try to write a game or a supplement for an existing game with a maximum of 200 words.

With all the pocketmod work I've done over recent years, this might be an interesting challenge (rather than a simple exercise in futility).

I might give it a go.

Maybe write the whole thing up as a pocketmod with two or three sentences per page.

23 April, 2015

Web Meanderings

I just dropped by Story Games for a peek this morning. Mostly the same people, talking about mostly the same stuff, telling everyone how much they "ARE NOT THE FORGE", being faux inviting as long as your talking about the inner clique's indie hotness, and offering the cold shoulder if you want to talk about something else (except for a few regular fanatics when it comes to specific topics)...

...it's been almost a year since my last post there, and I opened my last post with a comment like "Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since I posted here".

I used to visit regularly, maybe daily. I'd post things at least twice a week, and respond to plenty of comments. Now I get most of my gaming fix from discussions on dedicated Facebook groups (such as "Roleplaying Opinions" and "Australian Game Designers"), or through numerous circles and pages on G+. The only forum where the people I like are discussing things of relevance to me seems to be 1km1kt, but even that's gone a bit dead lately (and after posting my 314th post on the 3/14/15, it feels wrong to break the pi sanctity by making new posts over there). Most of the designers from 1km1kt are in my Facebook and G+ associates anyway, a few are regular commenters here.

I guess things change, and we change along with them.

22 April, 2015

It's pretty messy at this stage, but here is...

Character Generation
Other strangeness uses two methods to define characters. The first method is static, it defines the flat unchanging physical capacities of the character, such as their mutations and inherent aptitudes. The second method is dynamic, it defines the progress and advancement of a character as they are exposed to new lessons and integrate new knowledge into their understanding of the world.  

Start with 6 points in the general progress path.

Origin
Choose One or Roll
1
Accidental Mutation
6 Mutagen
4 pts in an Ecological Niche path
Unstable, +2 points to Psy or Sanctum
2
Alien Race
6 Mutagen
6 pts in a Vocation path
Stable, Alone, Exotic
3
Cryptozooid
0 Mutagen
4pts in an Ecological Niche path
Stable, Allied
4
Dimensional Variant
6 Mutagen
4 pts in a Vocation path
Alone, Exotic
5
Experimentation
2 Mutagen
2 pts in an Ecological Niche path
Allied
6
Magical Transformation
4 Mutagen
4pts in an Education path
Unstable, Allied
7
Temporal Evolution
6 Mutagen
4 pts in a Vocation path
Alone, Exotic
8
Variant Evolution
4 Mutagen
6 pts in a Vocation path
Stable, Alone
Stable: mutagenic effects suffer -1 success when targeted the character
Unstable: mutagenic effects gain a bonus success when targeting the character)
Alone: may not start with allies, contacts, influence or status, gain sanctum or equipment instead
Exotic: may not have “Appearance: Full”, gains no bonus mutagen points for the first appearance devolution.  

Mutation Effects
Choose (or Randomly Determine) a Type of Animal
(The actual process for this is currently being determined)

Animal Type (All animals have a common and uncommon element, a common and pair of uncommon ecological niches, and a common and pair of uncommon starting adverbs). 
6 pts to spend...(common = 1pt, uncommon = 2pts, rare = 3pts)...

First...
Choose the animal's commonly associated bonus attribute (1pt)
Choose the animal's uncommonly associated bonus attribute (2pts)
Choose a bonus attribute not typically associated with the animal (3pts)

Second...
Choose the animal's commonly associated ecological niche (1pt)
Choose one of the animal's uncommonly associated ecological niches (2pts)
Choose an ecological niche not typically associated with the animal (3pts)

Third...
Choose the animal's commonly associated adverb (1pt)
Choose one of the animal's uncommonly associated adverbs (2pts)
Choose an adverb not typically associated with the animal (3pts)

...any unspent points are added to the general progress path.

Start with a number of Mutagen points according to the character’s origin.

Stability: If the character’s origin granted them the “stable” trait, this may be sacrificed to gain +4 Mutagen points. If the character has no stability traits, they may gain the “unstable” trait to gain +4 Mutagen points.
Appearance: Gain +2 Mutagen points per level of devolution. Up to a maximum indicated by the animal type.
Hands/Biped/Speech: Gain +2 Mutagen points per level of devolution. Up to a maximum indicated by the animal type, or the appearance devolution (whichever is lower)
Size: If the chosen animal type is smaller than size class 7, you may reduce size class by 1 to gain +2 Mutagen points. This may be done a number of times until the animal’s natural size class is reached.

Once Mutagen has been accumulated, it may be spent on benefits from the chosen animal.
Stability: If the character’s origin granted them the “unstable” trait, they may buy this off with 4 Mutagen points. If the character has no stability traits, they may buy the “stable” trait with 4 Mutagen points.
Adverbs: The character may purchase one of the adverbs associated with the animal by spending 4 Mutagen points.
Animal Physiology: Animals have a range of natural physiological abilities that may be purchased by a mutant, all physiological abilities from the character’s “animal type” have a cost from 1 to 6 Mutagen points. A character may choose a physiological abilities from another animal, but such abilities have their cost doubled (characters with the “Stable” trait may not do this). Every time a character does this, they earn a Strange point.
Psy Powers: As unnatural beings all mutants have the potential to develop a connection to the Strange. This connection often manifests in the form of Psy Powers, a character gains a number of Strange points equal to the number of Mutagen points spent on Psy Powers.

Education 
Choose One or Roll
1
Instinctive
Ecological Niche (+6 pts)
Sanctum or Reputation (+2 pts)
2
Indoctrinated
Ecological Niche (+2 pt), Education (+4 pts)
Sanctum or Mentor (+2pts) 
3
Mentored
Education (+2 pt), Vocation (+4 pts)
Allies or Mentor (+2 pts)
4
Schooled
General (+4pts), Vocation (+2 pts)
Contacts or Mentor (+2 pts)
5
Enlightened
General (+4 pts), Enlightenment (+2 pts)
Status or Psy (+2pts)
6
Programmed
Education (+4 pts), Vocation (+2pts)
Allies or Equipment (+2 pts)
7
Taught
Education (+4 pts), General (+2pts)
Influence or Contacts (+2pts)
8
Apprenticed
Vocation (+6pts)
Contacts or Allies (+2 pts)

Personal Touches (6pts)

Spend points to boost General or Specific paths
Each point spent increases a path by one dot.

Spend points for Backgrounds/Relations
Each point spent increases a background/relation by one dot.

Note Strange Points

Specify equipment and other backgrounds/relations.
For every level of allies, specify an ally (choose an NPC option) and indicate where they live in the city.
For every level of contacts, specify a field of knowledge for a group of contacts and indicate a part of the city where these contacts may be found.
For every level of equipment, specify a piece of equipment, and explain where it was scavenged or bought in the city.
For every level of influence, specify a field of influence and a part of the city where this influence is focused
If the character has any levels of mentor, describe the mentor, explain who they are, how they were met, and where they can be found in the city.
If the character has any levels of psy, explain how they became enlightened and what they think of their connection to the deeper powers of the universe.
For every level of reputation, specify a location where this reputation is known.
For every level of sanctum, specify a feature of the sanctum that makes it a valuable hiding place, then indicate where the sanctum is located in the city.

If the character has any levels of status, explain who this status is linked to, and where in the city this group may be found.