Monday, 29 March 2021

[Europol-X] Advancement Report

 Advancement report

Writing a game is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. Once the enthusiasm of the first days fades, it's not easy to sit down and write what's already developed.

How to keep the flow going?

It is always helpful to run your game parallel to developing it, to keep it on you mind and seeing problems before you wrote them down.
In the case of Europol-X, I've run about 5 sessions with a group of 2 friends, and the introduction of a 3rd player was the kick I needed to end writing the character creation tables.
Since they have received experience, I also was obliged to create the XP system, based on feats. Those are now being developed and written down (this is my next step in the book dev).

So what has been done?

Well I'm happy that, apart from corrections, the careers of the system are fully written down and illustrated. This is maybe not a cornerstone of the system, but the D10 "PAST PROBLEM THAT COULD COME TO HAUNT YOU"-tables are a big help in introducing side-problems and flavor to the game

And layout?

Well I actually try to do layout and writing simultaneously, because both steps don't seem to be a chore if I can do the other one, once I'm bored with the first... It also helps showing nice results before the product is final.
Sure, one could argue that someone might steal the stuff, but what I share is only pictures, and normally, not all the stuff is available. Certainly, one could steal my stuff, but I can't imagine someone giving that much fucks about the game to redo the work from my originally posted stuff as images. You could surely produce something as nice and personal in the same time. I expect the game to be pirated after it is available on Drivethru, not before 😄

Anyway, what I wanted is to show you how the careers look like, as of now (I've already spotted things to correct)


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Wednesday, 3 March 2021

[W.I.P.] You believe in what now?

Hey, What's up?

 It's been quiet over here, because I was working on a new project:

Layouting, illustrating and editing a book, full to the gills with random tables to create a religion, with all its aspects (size, age, prophets, relics, cosmogony, etc.)

What's that project?

It's called (up to now at least) "You believe in what now?" and it's gonna be 25-30 pages of historical weirdness (most of the tables are rooted in historical religions from all over history and the world)

Wanna see?

Sometimes it's just better to watch you a preview than praying around the bush:


It's not completely finished (I still have to create the appendix listing all the images and their sources), but I hope to be able to publish it on drivethru before the end of the month...


Who wrote that?

I actually am not the author of the book, i did "only" the layout, all visual aspects and some proof-reading / editing.

It was written by the talented Felix Dester Hultgren, who has delivered here something truly fascinating and learned.

Can I buy it?

Not yet, you'll have to wait a bit more, but soon it will be available as pdf on drivethruRPG, for a reasonable price (we haven't agreed on a price yet, but it will definitively be under 5 Bucks)

You might wanna follow this blog to be sure to not miss the release 😉


I hope you like what you see !

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Wednesday, 10 February 2021

[DREAD] Scrap princess' 20 Questions about a setting

Questions to fine tune Middellærd

Scrap princess is not only a major figure of the OSR blogosphere but also a talented illustrator.
in this blog post, a magical internet thingy happened: a post from another creator (JEFF RIENTS) was twisted into awesomeness:  this-is-not-that-list-of-questions-for-your-campaign
Dating back November 2014, it's nowhere new, but it's so fun I decided to use those to create content for DREAD... It's been very quiet on that front, lately

 1. Is there weaponized Squid? 

Well there was not before this question. But there definetely will be some, in two understanding of the word "weaponized"...
Some water-elves/merfolks will train squids for war...
And organs of squids will be part of alchemical recipes, weaponizing those poor creatures further...

The giant squid at bay / Keppler

2. Is there undead robots?

Undead will not play a big role in DREAD. Using zombies as a cheap workforce (some kind of robots, if you will) is not a bad idea, but does not really fit into my vision of this universe... Maybe the big-bad-demons will do this... Thx for the suggestion

3. Do Icebergs walk across the land ?

No climate warming in this world, so if an iceberg walks the land, it must be some kind of gigantic mimic... Or a glacier shard launched into the air by a dwarven mega-catapult...

4. What do birds know?

Birds do know that their feather are precious and know how dangerous adventurers and hunters are.
Magical birds (like lotus hummingbirds and birds of paradise) have been nearly hunted to extinction...

5. Does medicine work like it does here but no-one knows CPR or does it work like a cartoon so I cure amnesia with more head injuries or does it work like medieval euro people thought it did with demons in your teeth?

Well it's gonna be more in the direction of Renaissance Europe medicine + Alchemy... So the base is the same as our medicine (germs and stuff) and not based on humors... But alchemy will be a potent alternative, based on ancestral herbalism & magical ingredients. Demons will also be able to heal you, for the right price...

6. I want to play a hobbit but really I'm the fleas controlling the hobbit. Where is that in the book?

Well demonic fleas that are a hive mind and control, better said possess, a humanoid host, will be found in the section about demons. Sexual intercourse will be a major way to take root on new hosts, for sure...

7. How much could I rent my body out to spirits before I lost control of my character?

Well, they might call themselves Spirits, but they are actually demons... You will lose parts of your soul first... And if you do exaggerate, you will lose body and mind for an eternity of pain and slave labor.

8.What level do I have to get my character to before I am the g.m?

All humanoids will be limited to lvl 9 and will need to use alchemy to better their bodies and skills afterwards... Once you have a lvl 9 character and i've written the game, i'd be delighted to let you read and DM it... I want to play this setting too !

9. What is the dumbest thing I can spend my money on?

A sand clock that is not precise enough: You'll ruin a lot of good alchemical components before realizing...
Buying an indexed book on demonology would also be an extreme bad idea...

10. How ugly can my guy be? Like Can I be a walking fish?

As ugly as you want, as long as other in your party are more capable to speak in public and society...

(ok that's an old joke... He wasn't that bad, in hindsight...)


11.The lamp oil? Is that like cooking oil, kerosene, white spirits or napalm?

It's gonna be very typically cooking oil or raw petroleum. Or some kind of alchemical decoction, for longer lasting and stronger illumination. Or just animal fat, that works too, it just stinks...

12. How does physics work in this world?

I intend to stay very near our principles, for simplicity's sake...

Alchemy will be a form of science, mixed with magic...

Magic will be vancian, since we're playing D&D, but without teleportation and resurrection. Rituals will be important, too, for higher level effects, for example...

13. Can I start with weapon hands?

Depending on the group, are demonic weapon hands a possibility, but not one I would recommend... The social stigma would be horrendous. 

14. What cultures approve of cannibalism?

Demons do. It's part of the way they corrupt the humanoid societies: by giving part of the power of the eaten to the one that eat them, but with a big load of corruption on top.

15. Can my character not be real , but a hallucination of another character?

Seems like an interesting concept for a group of 2 players. A challenge to DM, to be sure, but interesting nontheless (let me grab my old Wraith: oblivion books)

16. Which is the rome but with lava fire country in this world? 

Before the collision of the planes and the Severance, Urbarin was very like an almighty Rome (without the Pompeiian volcano references), but it does not have the same influence as before... The town is still very powerful but lost its colonial reach...

One of its colonies did get through into Middellærd, too, and is getting an important position: Neptoma, a Venice-like town with a powerful marine and a trading ports network around the sea on which the town "stranded"

17. Can I invent an insect?

Insects can be invented. Recipes to cook insects can be invented. They can be stitched together and revived with alchemy if you are experienced enough. They tend to be very voracious afterwards, though...

18. Is there reverse fire?

Seas, waterways and ice will play a big role in the setting... Is it not what you meant with this question? 

19. How much money can I make inventing siege engines?

Probably a lot, if you find a good Warlord to employ you. But beware, your job might not be as stable as you think if you do not deliver what's expected of you (however realistic this might be)

20. What is the most significant tree to the economy of the starting place?

Neptoma's economy (this will be the default starting place) is based on the exploitation of the lagoon and sea resources: fishing is very important, shipwrights are very influential, and a blooming trade of secrets is deeply rooted in the corrupted but pragmatic city... As a place of trade, Alchemy will be important there too, since it's one of the few place where lots of exotic ingredients can be found... It's the reason the main academy for alchemy was founded in Neptoma (the NATICRA: Neptomian Academy of Transmutation of ingredients, chemical refinement, and alchemy)


Conclusion

I hoped you liked this 20 answers as much as I loved these questions. It is a very interesting exercise to answer seriously questions that were not really serious in the first place...
I'll have to do Jeff's questions on day, too.
It's a really good world building exercise !

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