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.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crazy Times, Crazy Dice

I've been a bit slow at posting because I started a new job a couple of weeks ago, doing project management and solutions design. And I had to fly to California for a week. Which wasn't all that bad...

And I've shipped off the Phoenix playtest document to the playtesters, many of whom have made characters using the "complete" draft rules.  I'm encouraged by the feedback, most of which is that there were so many cool choices that players had a hard time picking between them.

Interior Title Page
click for larger view

Furthermore, and at the risk of becoming a kickstarter addict, I've pledged on another kickstarter campaign, and it is one that helps me solve a puzzling problem I've had with Phoenix.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Devin Night and Kickstarter

I've been quiet up until now about Kickstarter, but I am quite a fan like most of us.  It has really allowed for some great projects to take off, and is a good model for determining market viability prior to investment - something I appreciate financially.

Previously, I've supported the popular OGRE from Steve Jackson Games, which surprised just about everyone involved by raising almost a million dollars.  As a huge fan of tabletop games - not just RPGs, but all board, card, and dice games - I was ecstatic to see that a market still exists for this form of media.

Most recently, Cobalt Kobold has decided to support Devin Night's Monster Token project.  He's going to create a ton of monster illustrations, and hey - as it turns out, I have a variety of game ideas that need monster illustrations!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Leprechauns, Shoes, and Aquas Herb

These days, Leprechauns hang out under rainbows with pots o' gold in an excellent example of "monsters waiting for adventurers".

But were they always this boring?

"I sure could use a little rainbow in my life..."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Editing Process

Ah, editing.

I'm about ready to send the Phoenix RPG book to the playtesters, but before doing that my editor BabyBat and I have done a complete pass through the book.  The book right now is a little over 100 pages and in full print layout, so a complete pass takes a bit of time.  The book represents about a year of effort so far and clearly there is much left to do.  The more I do this, the more I appreciate the hard work that goes into game books before they are released.

Being from the software industry, we have treated this project similarly and created a defects log. Each defect has a status - New, Open, Fixed, Futured, or Closed. As I make changes I update the status and she confirms whether the defect is really fixed or not.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stone Shell

The aspect of Earth contains many spells players would normally expect, like earthen walls and sculpt.  This is one of the more unusual spells, primarily defensive in nature, but I'm curious to see it in use.

Oh no!  Dangerous wizards!
photo credit: celebdu via photo pin cc

Stone Shell (Earth Support)
Mana    10
Duration    Encounter, Special

You summon a thick eggshell of stone around yourself, protecting against attacks.  You are invulnerable to Martial and Elements attacks while the shell remains intact.

The Stone Shell has Defenses against these attacks equal to WIL’ + Level, and absorbs up to 1d10/level damage.  When this damage is exceeded, the spell ends, and the shell crumbles to dust.

While in the shell, you cannot move from your current location, or use Martial or Elements abilities unless they affect only you.  Additionally, this spell blocks line of sight as would any boulder, and you cannot see or hear through it except for loud noises or knocking.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gnome of Fiery Doom

A player in my virtual campaign requested a spell along these lines for our playtest campaign.  I like to oblige good ideas.

photo credit: hddod via photo pin cc
Gnome of Fiery Doom (Fire Attack)
Difficulty    Hard
Mana    10
Attack    Ranged 10 + WIL’, Special
Damage    2d6 + WIL’ + Level
Duration    Encounter, Special

You summon a highly volatile, gnome-shaped ball of fire that chases down enemies and burns them.  It appears in any empty location adjacent to you, and each round on your action (including the first), you can move it up to WIL’, ignoring threatened zones.  If at any time they are adjacent to a living creature besides yourself, they will explode in a Burst 1.

The gnome is immune to Martial, Elements [Fire], Energy, and Holy attacks.  It otherwise has Elements Defense WIL’ + Level, and can take 5 points of damage per level before being destroyed.  If destroyed in this fashion, the gnome does not explode.

It cannot at any time be further from you than the range given; if this happens for any reason then the gnome immediately explodes.

No more than one Gnome of Fiery Doom spell can be active at once.
(It can be augmented for more damage or an extra gnome, at the cost of more mana.)
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