Archive for May, 2011

Escape from New YorkIn my efforts to recapture the Post Apoclyptic (PA) genre of my youth, I’m going back and watching old movies that inspired me. This weekend I watched the 1981 movie: John Carpenter’s Escape from New York. I included Carpenter’s name because he made some of my favorite movies of that time.

In the future, crime is out of control and New York City is a maximum security prison. Grabbing a bargaining chip right out of the air, convicts bring down the President’s plane in bad old Gotham. Gruff Snake Plissken, a one-eyed lone warrior new to prison life, is coerced into bringing the President, and his cargo, out of this land of undesirables.
– Written by Anthony Pereyra, IMDB

Escape from New York is not a true apocalyptic future, but the city is a good rendition of what may happen in a lawless city. The city was ruled by the “Duke” of New York and can easily transposed to a slaver type hierarchy. I fount the use of titles interesting as I did not think what people might call themselves in the apocalyptic future. In The Postman, the main antagonist was know as “the general”, but it did not strike me as important as someone calling themselves “the duke”.

The underground dwelling “crazies” that came out at the end of the month to find food was another nugget, and I had planned to have a race of nocturnal humans that shunned light, but were not necessarily cannibalistic, which is the general imprission I felt. One of the ideas that my wife offered for a post apocalyptic character class was a ‘squaker’ to represent the story teller of the apocolyptia future.

I do not want to go into the movie on how out dated the movie was. While searching for the cover image, I learned that there was a remake of the movie in the works. One last note that caught my eye in the movie was the graffiti “FTW” in the movie. I noticed this a couple of times and immediately thought of “For The Win”. Being a 1981 movie, it is unlikely that anyone would know this term would be a common phrase in the future and it is highly more likely to be some set decorator’s initials.

For The Win!

I am interested in what people think story tellers in a apocalyptic future would be called.

While I blather on with what I did about this and how I plan to accomplish that, I have found that I don’t have enough time to do anything, much less keep up on a blog. I have not made it to bed bedfore midnight this week and I have to be up by 5 am for work. I must admit that I am quite tired.

So I decided to focus this article on what I am doing on the production side of the coin. Knowing some game producers, I follow one on facebook that provided this nice little article, Creativity Is More Practice Than Magic. It basically encourages you to proactively seek out ways to hone your creative skills, I was a little disappointed it didn’t provide any tips, but I have an idea of what I want to look for in this next week.

I also follow behance’s sight 99% which deals with ideation and following through with actions. I found thier article How To Set Smart Daily Goals enlightening and I tried implementing their 90 minutes to focus on a task. I plan on writing out some goals over the next week.

I would like to also give a shout out to Brennan of Galileo Games who took the time to answer my questions on producing a role-playing game. They currently have a Science Fiction game on Kickestarter called Bulldogs! that looks cool. If you like RPGs, I highly recomend checking out these indie game producers.

Through my many years of gaming, I’ve always had a problem with ‘experience’ systems. I never realized this problem; it normally just materialized into a frustration with the game. I have since discovered the beauty of Fibonacci. So what is Fibonacci? I like to call it the rule of life, the system is related to the golden ratio and a basis for how living things grow. I am not a Mathematician so my answer may not be 100% accurate (but that’s it in a nutshell).
So what does this have to do with experience in a role-laying game? Well, in my opinion, the problem with most experience systems is that they allow characters to quickly ascend to levels that puts them above the mean of the game. This lends to a unsatisfying scenarios as many of the challenges are beneath the player. Fibonacci allows a game master to put a limit on progression without actually placing a limit. There becomes a point when acquiring the next level is just not as feasible. Lets compare a Fibonacci experience system to D&D 3.5, as I still haven’t had the urge to buy the 4th edition books.

Level 1 0
Level 2 1,000
Level 3 2,000
Level 4 3,000
Level 5 5,000
Level 6 8,000
Level 7 13,000
Level 8 21,000
Level 9 34,000
Level 10 55,000
Level 11 89,000
Level 12 144,000
Level 13 233,000
Level 14 377,000
Level 15 610,000
Level 16 987,000
Level 17 1,597,000
Level 18 2,584,000
Level 19 4,181,000
Level 20 6,765,000
As you can see, by the time you hit 20th Level it will cost 6.7 mil+ as oppose to 190,000 it costs in D&D. I know what some are saying: “That cost’s too much.” and for D&D, I agree with you. But for a RPG that you pump experience directly into skills/powers, this rule is great. It prevents people from overloading one skill/power. Players who want to get the most for their experience will spread it around causing something that is difficult to find, a well rounded character.
This is the system I decided to use for experience in OverBurn. I also present this video which helps illustrate Fibonacci.

I did not rest on my laurels this weekend and came up with a rough draft of the chapter outline. Without a bunch of foofaraw, that’s my new word, I present the OverBurn Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction

This chapter covers the introduction into the OverBurn game. It includes:

1.    Opening

2.    A fictional short story

3.    History of the OverBurn world.

4.    Game concepts

Chapter 2: Character Generation

This chapter covers most things that you need to know in order to create a character for the game. Includes:

1.    Creation Rules

2.    Sample Archetypes

Chapter 3: Species

          This chapter covers the major species in the game.

Chapter 4 : Skills

This chapter covers the various skills that exist in the game.

Chapter 5 : Combat

This chapter covers combat, duh.

Chapter 6: Psionic Rules

This chapter covers the use of psionics in the game.

Chapter 7 : GameMaster’s Information

This chapter gives the background information that only the referee should really know.

Chapter 8 : Equipment

This chapter lists a variety of items that characters can buy (acquire) in the game.

Chapter 9 : Scenarios

This chapter will contain any scenarios created by the authors and playtesters which are considered to be worth distributing.


Appendix 1 : Bibliography

Appendix 2 : Credits

Any comments are greatly appreciated.

I meant to post this a little while ago, but was hesitant to lay it on the line. Since the 6 month plan does not really give away any details to the game, I figured why not? So here is the my plan for the game so far. The first bullet of may is complete and I hope to have the second, and part of the the third further along this week end.

May

  • 6 month Plan
  • Chapter Outline
  • Core mechanics

June

  • Archetypes
  • Races
  • Skills

July

  • Equipment
  • Experience
  • critters

Aug

  • Psionics
  • additional crunch

Sept

  • additional fluff

October

  • Working copy

On a side note. In six months I should be relocated to our new facility and my commute time will be reduced greatly. Right now I’m suffering through it, but I hope in 6 months I wil be able to put more effort into Overburn.