Friday Project Update

Hey folks,

Firstoff, many apologies for the radio silence this month. I’ve had a large load of time-consuming work to deal with, and unfortunately that and other stresses have meant I haven’t had a lot of free time for post-writing.

However, that’s not to say nothing is being done; quite the opposite in fact! I’ve been fortunate enough to be working with my dad in developing the professional-level art for Holy Press. While I’m still working on getting summer game playtesting group together since my primary playtesting group evaporated for the summer when school let out and the undergrads went home, the art is coming along beautifully, and I’m really excited for where the game is rapidly going.

Hopefully by the end of summer, the art creation will be complete, and presuming I’ve been able to get in blind playtests by then and refined the rulebook to iron out any remaining rule inconsistencies or fuzzy areas, Holy Press will be ready to purchase at the end of summer. I’ll also be pitching it hard to as many different eligible companies from Cardboard Edison’s Compendium as I possibly can, so (fingers crossed) I might be picked up for professional publication/distribution!

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An example of an Act tile. I am excited beyond words about all of this

For now, though, I’m going to be probably posting a bit less often as I work through the last of the time-intensive work projects and stress factors. While I’m on vacation next week, the following week I want to make sure I touch on the idea of Buystarter, and why I’m really excited about the idea of using that for RPG and wargame publication moving forward.

Until next time. Cheers!

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Friday Update: Wallet Game restart and The Order of Artemis

So I had a chance to play Camel Up last night, and enjoyed it a lot! Coup was also played, during which I tried the infinite Ambassador strategy after making a crucial and damaging error early-on and lost terribly while having a grand time.

However, as I attempted to demonstrate the core ship-building aspect of Boatbuilders, a crucial problem emerged: The table was a laquered smooth wood, and there was a gentle but steady AC vent overhead that was providing an almost-unnoticed breeze.

It was impossible to even get the base set up, let alone anything else.

This is a problem; while I knew breezes and smooth surfaces would be an issue, I hadn’t realized just how bad they could be compared to my relatively-controlled test environment at home. I think the game can be rescued by including 2-4 card clips in the set, and let players adjust how many they used depending on desired difficulty, but the problem is that will immediately bring us outside the scope for the limitations of the cards-only design Button Shy had asked for. So, while I am definitely wanting to hold onto Boatbuilders as a fun, light “pouch”* game, we’ll need to do a redesign asap for a new cards-only wallet game.

*In the vein of games such as Love Letter, Lost Legacy, and Cypher. Mostly just 18ish cards, and maybe a half-dozen small unobtrusive components.

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The designing will begin under the cut!

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Grimdark Future: Inquisition released!

So I managed to finish getting the rules banged out for Grimdark Future: Inquisition! This week is spring break so the playtesters I rely on are out of town until next week, so I figured I’d focus on finishing off this project first!

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The rules are basically a further refining of skirmish GDF: Firefight, in the same way as it i a refined version of basic GDF. I ditched the d66 system I originally had as I realized it was a nightmare in the way I originally had designed it, and instead went with the basic roll and a ‘Minor die’ that can provide a bonus to your main roll if it rolls well enough. Player bonuses affect this second die, and it can explode, so there’s a chance that any task can be successful, but hopefully not skewed in the way that the d66 roll setup was making it.

GDF:Inquisition Base Rules v1.1

GDF:Inquisition Roleplay Supplement v1.1

GDF:Inquisition – Battle Brothers v1.0

GDF:Inquisition – Human Defense Force v1.0

GDF: Inquisition – Battle Sisters v1.0

Let me know what you think in the comments and reblogs below!

The Monday Game: Grimdark Inquisition/Age of Fantasy Roleplay

First, a side tangent for Mistgore and Mamluki/Boatbuilders: the Mistgore playtest documents are ready, but while they are ready I’m still working on expanding the available warband lists to include Pirates, who focus on lots of enemy control despite not having a lot of armor or overt melee/magic power. Playtesting for Boatbuilders/Mamluki and the next iteration of Green-Circuit Mercs hasn’t happened yet, but will be happening later this week.

Moving on to a current mini-project…

As you’ve probably sussed out from previous posts and such on the matter, but I’m good friends with the designer of One Page Rules, Gaetano Ferrara aka “OnePageAnon.” I quite like the rules, and feel it’s a refreshing breath of fresh air compared to the original game systems he’s adapted and streamlined.

That said, Gaetano focuses a lot more on the wargame-scale side of things, while I definitely like mixing my chocolate and peanut butter and focus more on skirmish games and RPGs.

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Friday Project Update

I’d like to start posting my progress on various games, game-related stuff, and similar content, as a way of holding myself accountable (which in turn helps give me the kick-in-the-butt needed to keep momentum up). I’ll give a summary of what I was working on that week, and a blurb on what I’ve got planned next as well.

I’ll post a quick status update for each project now, and then mention then again if they get worked on that week.

The Shortlist:

  • Precedence RPG re-work
  • Mistgore skirmish wargame
  • Ruin card game
  • Primogeniture microgame
  • Negative Pressure board game
  • Ironwatch magazine
  • Mawbeast Madness game
  • Quarantine game
  • Hardwired novel
  • NaNoWriMo novel

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Review: Ultramodern4

Today I’ll be doing a review of one of my hands-down favorite products ever, and easily my favorite supplement for D&D 4th Edition I’ve seen. With this book and the core D&D books, you have suddenly cracked open 95% of all flavors of the possible action-adventure genres to play with.

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Are you ready for a supplement that should and could have been a core gamebook?

The Game:

Ultramodern4 is a third-party supplement for D&D 4th edition, but before you start waving splatbooks angrily at me, take another look: this sucker is something like 300 pages long, and chock-full of mechanical details. It reads like one of the core 4e books, something halfway between a Player Handbook and the DM Guide with a small dozen pages or so of monsters in the 4e block format. RPGNow lists the following possibilities for genres to explore:

  • Cyberpunk
  • Espionage
  • Modern warfare
  • Space opera
  • Technofantasy
  • Urban fantasy
  • Wild west, with or without aliens

While not wrong, this list vastly understates the breadth of what you can do with this supplement book.

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The Monday Game: Recurring Cases

This is the start of what will ideally be a weekly series, with a new game design walkthrough at the start of each week. Each Monday, I’ll go off of the Boardgamizer game parameters. Take 3 sets of parameters, and pick whichever caught my imagination best for that week’s design. I’ll always apply the constraints, because I personally believe the best game designs come from working within a bounded framework of some kind or another.

The Unused Parameters

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The first one I got. Some kind of lite RPG, maybe like a pencil-and-paper version of CounterStrike, but with a physical movement component tied to something like Coup or The Revolution bluffing/role mechanics.

I ultimately passed on this one because I just wasn’t feeling up for designing an RPG today, but this one definitely might be one to revisit in the future.

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Gotta love that theme. This I’d see as a space/scifi game where you’re trying to manage a vampiric bloodline over aeons, and trying to have the most lucrative unbroken line as wars and strife and the rise and fall of empires come and go.

Passed on this one as well, because while it could be a cool concept (and the idea of an unbroken line of inheritance echoes another game I’m currently working on), this has heavy 4-hour eurogame written all over it, and I wanted a lighter design today.

The Winning Parameters

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Time travel and Whovian shenanigans? I’d never turn down the chance to do a time-travel game. Deck building? Another category I love the idea of and want to take advantage of.

But dat constraint. Trying to build a deckbuilding game with only 15 cards is delicious, simply delicious. Time to get into the designing.

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