Archive for May, 2011


Last night I had a strange dream. To be honest, I suffer from sleep apnia so I tend to not hit REM state very long. Any dream I have would qualify for a strange night. That being said, I am not one who writes down their dreams or ponders its significant. I usually toss it to the the bit bucket and proceed with my day. This dream was a little different, it took the form of a post apocolyptic trip, probably heavily influence by FallOut 3, throught the wasteland to battle the evil deeds of the “Family”. The Family consisted of the several “raider” factions who’s leaders were siblings. The were fighting each other try and win the other factions members, talk about sibling rivalry. I decided that instead of letting this one slide, I would post it and leave myself a little not on things to do.

To do list:

  • Freebie mini-adventure: Sibling Rivalry.

(There is my Avatar as NeoProxy from the game)

One of the many aspects of gaming I have run into is the propensity to turn combat into statistics. I love new players because they attempt to visualize combat in actions and not bonuses or penalties. I often see new players stand and enact what they envision their character doing, where more experienced players a willing to let the die roll speak for their succes.

To this end, I am leaning towards a damage system with levels. This adds at least a little flavor to damage when a character rolls. I based the levels from wound levels used in hospitals. I made some revisions so that all the levels start with a different letter (for speed and brevity in the game). The levels I have thus far are:

  • Light Wound
  • Moderate Wound
  • Excessive Wound
  • Serious Wound
  • Crippling Wound
  • Fatal Wound
The damage right now is based on a Fibinacci system, much like the entire game is. The more successes you get, the amount of damage goes up dramatically. I hope I can make the system exciting, without making it unbalanced. but only play-testing will tell.


Having started multiple blogs and not really having time for any. I found a, thus far, nice utility  for blogging. The utility is a chrome extension called ScribeFire, and it lets you post an article on multiple blogs. I fine this desirable as I have not crossed posted because of the hassle of logging into another interface, cut-n-paste, check the format, and what ever else violates my head in the process. This extension allows me to write an article, select a blog sight and add the article to the site.

This will be the first post using the extension across multiple sites. Please feel free to ask any questions.

The first aspect I wanted to address is the core mechanic of the game. There are so many core mechanics out there and all of them are excellent. So what did I decide on? Let me give you a bit of history (leave now if you have a short attention span). For the longest time I believed that perctentiles were the best mechanic to use. I mean c’mon anything can be explained in percentages. If I throw a rock, I have a skill chance of, let’s say 10% to hit something. If it’s close, I get a +10%; the ground, +99%. It’s so simple.

When I approched from a game design aspect I thought, wow that’s really hard. You have a base chance to hit of 23%, + 18% for proximity, -7% for windspeed, -15% for thrower’s velocity, + 16% for target’s stationary. Holy acidic dragon breath Batman, that’s a lot of math. So if you really think about it a +1% isn’t really all that exciting; likewise -1% is really that big of a handicap. So what is the natural thing to do? Make your increments by 5%. If you look at percentile base games, they do their adjustments in increments of 5%.

But is this not just a simple +1 or -1 on a d20 sliding scale?  YES! This made a d20 system gold in my mind… for a while. Then I got disillusioned with the static bonuses. For example, lets say there is a lock with a target number 11 to open. This gives my non-skilled character a 50/50 chance to open, it is a simple lock. After my character trains a while, to a skill of 5, he goes back and looks at the lock. He’s now got a 75% chance to open it. He goes and trains up to level 10 and now this look presents no problem cause he has 100% to open it. And that whole fail 5% at everything is also ludicrous in my mind.

So I started looking at mechanics that use multiples of the same dice. I little while ago, I calculated the average success rate with multiples of specific dice and varying degrees of Target Numbers. You can see the calculation at my Chance of Success page. I was naturally drawn to the d10 chance cause they are easily rationalized. This system is used in White Wolf’s World of Darkness games and AEG’s 7th Sea and Legend of the 5 Rings games. I then thought about using the not as familiar, honestly I do not know any, multi-d8 and multi-d12 system, which gives just about the same ratio of advancement (see the center TNs).

After much pondering and recanting, I decided on the d6. Why? First, d6′s are readily available. If a new gamer finds himself without dice to play, he can raid some board games and have some dice. Many other role-playing games use multiple d6′s and people will not have to buy new dice.  Second, the percentages are not all that much different. If I wanted to use multi-d12 with a TN of 11 or 12, it has the same percentages of a multi-d6 with a TN of 6. And Third, it feels right in my gut. Sure it may be indigestion, but when your gut speaks, it is always good to listen.

Comments are always welcome.

I took my kids to Hemisfair Park today, the site of the old 1968 world’s fair. As I traveled throughout the historic buildings, statues, artwork, and water attraction, I thought “this would be a great site for a base of operations of a post apocalyptia faction.”

I spied a sign that promoted a display for the ‘Rotary Club’, their symbol was a gear and I thought that it would make an interesting faction. I found the concept intriguing as it has the possibility for introducing steam punk into the game. I didn’t like the name Rotary Club, so I’m trying to think up an apropriate apocalyptia name. Here is what I have come up with thus far.

  • Rotary Guild
  • Rotary League
  • Gear Heads
  • Gear Punks
  • The Order of Axis
  • The Order of Gears

I still need to develop the faction more, but this is a start. Please cast your vote, or if you have another preference, let me know.