About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Revisions to Defenses

I tried two approaches to Defenses in playtesting, and neither felt right.  I've since realized that at least one approach was attempting to be too simulationist.  I was trying to design a system that took into effect which weapon group was better at what sort of defense, etc., and in the end I've had to remind myself that Phoenix just isn't that type of game.

My original design goals were to significantly accelerate RPG combat, giving time for either more action or more drama.  Drama and gamism are the two focuses.  Another game can deal with simulationism, perhaps even one I work on in the future.

Having cleared my mind and gone back to the beginning, I've sorted out simpler Defenses for the next playtest round.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Phoenix Cyclopaeans

Thought I was done after Dwarves, Gnomes, Elves, and Humans?

I'm not completely boring.

Cyclopaeans are physically inspired by classical mythology.  However, in Phoenix, they are neither giants nor blacksmiths.  In the default setting, they live in hostile terrain - usually high mountains - and generally avoid contact with other humanoids.  They are a foot taller than comparable humans and a bit heavier.  Cyclopaean society tends to be clan based and semi-nomadic, with brute force required for survival.

Cyclopaeans have a special connection with The Rift - which will be described another time.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Phoenix Humans

Oddly enough, humans have been written about in many stories throughout human history.

This might seem to make humans easy to write about - but in fact I find it is the opposite.  Humans in the real world have been every archetype, belonged to every culture, and accomplished everything that we have ever known.  Unless you're a scientologist, but I figure that's a discussion for a sci-fi RPG.

Four arms, four legs.  Is that a Scientology Human?

With many races, I have tried to create active capabilities.  With Humans, many of the abilities are more passive - this is on purpose.  Humans have the unique metagame feature of being the simplest to play, if that's what a player desires most.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Phoenix Elves

Elves are the classical RPG feminine match to Dwarven masculinity.  Thus, Dwarven females have beards, and Elven males are easily confused with Elven females.

Mythologically, Elves and Dwarves have common ancestry, dividing out into separate races somewhere along the way in Norse mythology.  Dwarves retained their Elvish proper names for quite some time after the distinction was established.

Elves, in one form or another, have been the subject of many western civilization stories, and modern gaming draws from several of these sources.  For instance, their famed proficiency with bows & arrows stretches back to at least the 16th century, where the discovery of neolithic arrowheads was attributed to elves, and a sharp pain was called an "elf-shot".

I've drawn upon these and focused on stories connecting elves with nature, as I already have races for Elements and Energy.

Before I get started, I have one promise about Elves in Phoenix:  There will never be a dark elf.  I've heard enough about them to last a thousand lifetimes.  Not convinced?  Let me put it this way: Dark Elves are roughly equivalent to Twilight in my mind.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Phoenix Gnomes

Gnomes are both popular and despised in many RPG games.   Some folks like to torment them endlessly, and some folks won't play anything else.

I find lawn gnomes humorous and pondered a little bit over what their culture would be like - while also dipping into the writings of Paracelsus and others.  The real-world mythologies of Dwarves and Gnomes crosses over quite a bit, and having two elemental-like races didn't sit well with me.  Thus, I decided to focus them on Energies instead of Elements.

Hopefully what I have created here will be amusingly independent while also obeying some of the more classic uses of the Gnome, and their Germanic origins.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Phoenix Dwarves

(Side note:  Passed my PMP Exam!  Thanks Grek!)

I've long had a personal fetish for roleplaying Dwarves, and this enjoyment comes through in Phoenix.

Before I get to that - let me talk a little bit about my approach to races in Phoenix.  For Phoenix, I want a largely classical feel.  Yes, that frequently means Tolkien-inspired.  I'll also draw from mythology - especially Celtic, Germanic, and Norse - for some aspects.

While I enjoy seeing some creative liberties with classic races like Dwarf and Elf, sometimes it goes too far for my tastes.

No.  Hell no.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Manor, Issue #1

I've read my copy of The Manor #1.

Available at fine newstands - or would be,
if any fine newstands still existed.

Let's cut to the chase.  Making a 'zine in this day in age is not a mainstream activity.  Any "thing" without a hash-tag or a facebook URL (or G+ or whatever other fad there is) means the "thing" is old-fashioned.

As such, receiving this 'zine in PDF (whether by choice or by geographic necessity) means you've missed out on one of the best aspects of this work of art.

Let's discuss.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Grek shall be King

Our anti-hero, Grek, is a diminutive kobold serving an ungrateful and forgettable chieftain.  Grek's clan is a leader in building traps and harassing miners.  He has led a lot of these projects and learned from it.

Grek is a little minion with big plans.  He doesn't want to harass small mining communities forever.  One day, he'd like to rule the whole kingdom.

Grek the Great.  That's what he will be called.

Grek's only real skill is in project management so he starts with that.

(The author being neck-deep in studies for his PMP Exam is completely coincidental)

Grek starts by contemplating his Project Charter.

Page from the spellbook of
Gantt the Psychotic

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You enter a room...

You enter a 10 x 10 foot room.

You enter a 3 x 3 meter room.

You enter a 120 x 120 inch room.

You enter a 0.0006 x 0.0006 league room.

You enter a 3048 x 3048 millimeter room.

You enter a 30 x 30 hand room.

You enter a 15 x 15 link room.

You enter a 1.8 x 1.8 步 (bu) room.

You enter a 1 x 1 丈 (jo) room.

You enter a 1.7 x 1.7 fathom room.

You enter a 0.3 x 0.3 diopter room.

You enter a 720 x 720 pica room.

You enter a 8,640 x 8,640 point room.

You enter a 2.2 x 2.2 paso room.

You enter a 4.3 x 4.3 арши́н room.

You enter a 6.36 x 6.36 cubit room.

You enter a 6.7 x 6.7 biblical cubit room.

You enter a 9.878e-17 x 9.878e-17 parsec room.

You enter a 1.017e-8 x 1.017e-8 light-second room.

You enter a 1.6 x 1.6 orgium room.

   .... you stay to watch the show

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