Tag Archives: Game Design.
Now that I’ve finally built the 4th play test deck of my card game and ordered it from both and [Affiliate Link], I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned.
I tried doing that via live streaming on the other night, but I made some minor missteps and it was not as helpful as I intended.
I will be making a YouTube video showing all these steps once I get the time to do that.
In the meantime, here is a blog post with a going over my experience and take-aways.
NOTE: I will be sharing a sample template on [Affiliate Link] for those wanting to create their own card decks and games.
I’ll include a PDF with some of my processes
I’ve used for all the prior play test decks.
It is easy to use, you just upload images in either PNG or JPEG format.
First you upload the back.
If all cards have the same back, then there is only one image needed.
If there are multiple backs, then you need to follow the naming convention they suggest for your files so it all makes sense once it is uploaded.
Then you upload the images for the fronts.
Finally, you specify the number of cards if any should be multiples.
also has templates for the card boxes and recommends a size of box based on the number of cards in your deck.
I have not built a box, since I’m still play testing.
So that will be a topic for another day.
[Affiliate Link] has a similar process of uploading the image for the back(s) and then the fronts.
Their naming convention to handle multiple backs is to have a back for each card with back001 to go with front001, etc.
While I have multiple backs for my cards that have rules and other explanatory information, I did not do multiple backs for either order to keep it simple.
[Affiliate Link] suggested I buy their [ Affiliate Link ] that is a flat $1.00
I have one that I use for the 3rd playtest deck from , and I ordered one with the 4th playtest deck I ordered from.
I like this box, my deck just fits.
It is 130 cards and the box is rated for 120 cards.
I like this because it means I don’t need to design a box.
While DriveThru Cards does print, they are limited to 120 cards.
While 130 cards will work in their large plastic deck box, I’m not certain it would fit in the 120 tuck box.
[Affiliate Link] that explains what they can do
NOTE: They only offer a PDF of the rules books and don’t offer that as a print option
They suggest putting the rules on a card, such as the front & back.
The big difference with [Affiliate Link] is that once you have all the images validated, the site builds a PDF of your deck in the form it needs to be if you build and upload a PDF according to the specs.
Based on how long it took to create the PDF and have it available so I could order it
it may be faster to build the PDF and upload it.
NOTE: With the PDF upload, .
It works the same way as uploading a PDF for a PDF only or POD product
My upload failed, and I’m not sure why.
I’ll have to do some checking to figure it out.
I ran into issues with my first attempt to build a PDF to upload into [Affiliate Link]
It was through my ignorance of the process and I will be making a template and a YouTube video to explain what I’ve learned and what works for me.
The biggest differences between and [Affiliate Link] the image sizes are identical 825 pixels x 1125 pixels, but GameCrafter wants the images in and DriveThruCards wants images in.
GameCrafters estimated 3-1/2 weeks for production, but DriveThru Cards is a flat 2 weeks.
GameCrafter has an option to expedite production, which is basically doubles the cost.
DriveThru Cards does not have that option.
Shipping options vary a bit, but one tier up from the cheapest shipping option is about the same.
GameCrafter does not appear to have a limit on deck size.
DriveThru Cards has a maximum deck size of 130 cards.
GameCrafter is more expensive for a single deck and one has to sell a lot to get the deck cost down to the cost it takes me to get a deck to review.
The only thing I don’t know is quality differences.
I might get the DriveThru Cards deck prior to GaryCon.
I know that GameCrafters has a good quality card.
If DriveThru Cards are a good quality I will use them to fulfill my.
DriveThru Cards should have printers in other countries like they do for [Affiliate Link], so it should make shipping affordable and save on that headache.
NOTE: Someone, not staff, answered my query on the DriveThruDiscord that cards are currently only printed in the U.
I’m waiting for a link to a page that says this explicitly, as it’s not in the FAQ and so far I haven’t found it.
I’ll post a link to that if such exists.
That’s a major bummer, as I was hoping it would solve that issue.
I grew up near Kansas City, Missouri, so I googled and is based in Shawnee, Kansas.
That’s southeast of Kansas City.
One major problem that I thought I had solved.
This answer really ought to be on the FAQ page on DriveThruCards and NOT on a separate OBS (OneBookShelf page).
Make a list of all of this stuff in a spreadsheet with a column to track the BACK, Count, and FACE of each card.
This is useful in verifying that you have the correct number of each card.
My first attempt to order the 3rd play test deck from was short, because I put in the wrong count for several cards and had to order another deck with the right count.
Use a graphics program like (free) to prepare images.
If using Public Domain art, clean it up and get it in the right ratio of dimensions.
If buying art, have the artist(s) create it in the right ratios to fit.
The final “safe” space is 2.5″ x 3.5″ 2.5 / 3.5 = so the width should be 71.429% of the height so that it will scale properly.
I used to make the images for the front & backs of cards in my third play test deck.
Use (free) to make vector graphics for icons you may use on your cards, like spades, diamonds, clubs, & hearts, and the Numbers.
Save them in SVG format so that they are legible when resizing.
$50.00) to make the deck.
This allows you to make a master page with the card layout you need.
You can use one for the most common back and use it as the master page for all the odd pages.
Duplicate the master page for the backs before you add the image for the backs to it.
This assumes you have created two pages for each card, the odd number page is the back and the even numbered are the front.
Plan the layout on each master page where any icons will go, where numbers, text and other elements will go.
Set the Font for the document.
Understand how the layers and other features work to get the main image to the back and the text and icons over the image.
There are lots of.
Once each card has a back (odd pages) and a front (even pages) save it as a PDF with the specs from [Affiliate Link].
Review the PDF vs.
the spreadsheet with the order and count of each card.
What I like most about is that one simple change on the master page updates all the pages based on that master page.
Have all art for faces in the proper size ratio to avoid fiddling with it in Affinity Publisher when placing it.
Figure out your layout in for things that are common to all cards, groups of cards, or unique cards.
Don’t be afraid to start from scratch with a new layout if you are having speed issues or other problems.
Sometimes starting over is the quickest and easiest way forward.
That is what I have found.
I get faster every time I start a new file in from scratch.
I used one file and exported each card to a graphic image.
I uploaded those images to and [Affiliate Link]
I made a new file and use the images created by the first file to make each card, this made it faster.
That is something I plan to do AFTER I determine if the PDF I made in the format [Affiliate Link] wants will upload without issues.
If it does, I will definitely be working on a new file with all the layout.
Thinking About Ability Scores.
August 2, 2018 Leave a comment I started this post back on January 1, 2018 after spending some time the prior weekend thinking about ability scores and the classic 3-18.
This was prompted by the 1e/2e character sheet on Roll20, where it defaults to 10 on all the abilities.
Since the average on a d6 is 3.5, this results in 10.5 for 3d6, which rounds up to 11.
Player characters are generally considered to be “heroic” or above average, one could use 10 + 1d8, for 11-18 for abilities.
This will generate abilities on average of 14.5, which rounds to 15.
Now there is the problem of every character is way above average.
Some may not consider that a problem.
1e DMG p.
11 Methods 1-4 are presented.
I use 4d6 drop the lowest (Method 1) for character generation.
I have a House Rule for my 1e campaign to get to play a class requiring special minimum scores.
But I Want It:.
Players wishing to play a class in AD&D 1e who don’t roll the stats for it, can set the minimum stats for those ability scores that are pertinent, but all other stats will be rolled on a d4+8 making their range 9-12.
1e UA p.
74 adds method 5 where each class rolls a different amount of dice for each ability, making it more likely to get the scores needed to reach the minimums required for specialty classes, such as druids, rangers, and illusionists.
5e PH p.
13 – Roll 4d6, drop the lowest, or use 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8.
(Score – 10 = x.
Divide x by 2 to get modifier.) Or use 27 points to boost scores that all start at 8, but can’t go higher than 15.
Then add racial bonuses.
A human could end up with three 14’s and three 13’s after applying racial bonuses, having three scores at +2 and the other three at +1.
With a barbarian, the first class in the book, it gets 4 chances to raise an ability 2 points, or two abilities by 1 point, with a max of 20.
So a barbarian that lives to level 19, has 8 points that can be added to other abilities.
So one of those 14’s can go to 20, and another to 16, for a +5 and +3 bonus.
Swords & Wizardry basically does 3d6 in order and 13+ is +1 and less than 7 or 8 is -1.
The exact score is not that important.
This comes back to the issue, do you like a game where you need a high score to stand a chance of success, or a game where player skill negates the importance of the exact number on an ability.
At what point on the scale do skills fall.
Only class specific skills, but anyone can start a fire, not just rangers, or a comprehensive system that covers what a character can do.
My preference is that anyone can start a file, but rangers, druids, and someone with a secondary skill like hunter or forester can start a fire in the rain.
I made some notes for an idea on making my own retroclone over a year ago.
Nothing organized, just some rough ideas.
How to handle XP is something all making a retroclone need to address.
My idea use a base XP chart that is used for all characters with the base “Adventurer” class.
Additional XP is required if you want fancier skills, like magic.
To have magic perhaps double the XP needed for each level.
Other skills like thieving skills use 1.5 times the base.
This post is already long, but the idea is to have categories or groups of abilities or skills that are a package to make one’s own custom character.
Since non-humans tend to have special traits, those would also require more XP to level.
Or a system with no XP and no level advancement.
How would you handle a character getting better at code breaking or fighting.
With practice, one gets better.
But how to gamify that in a simple way that scales and there is balance between characters of similar “level?” It comes down to how crunchy do you want your system.
The more I delve into trying to make my own game, the more I come back to wanting something light/simple/quick.
Basic, S&W, Delving Deeper, Black Hack, etc.
are looking more appealing.
The teaming masses of new players today, are focused on 5e, and the style of play that they see online in shows like Critical Role and Maze Arcana.
They don’t get what more experienced players know, The rules aren’t the game, and don’t really matter.
We just need a mutually agreed framework for generating consistent results when it comes to rolling the die.
I’m not sure I like the story game thing where you can override parts of the narrative you don’t like.
Yes, it is a game, and we should play what we like, but I think there should be a chance for complete failure or nail-biting success.
The idea of yes/and, or no/but is interesting, but how to model that for the style of play I prefer.
Points On The Spectrum.
Tables and charts necessitating reference to the book or a GM screen, or target numbers that are easy to calculate.
Bonuses and penalties that players need to keep track of and modify their rolls quickly, so that game play doesn’t halt while they figure it out.
d7 system, the one live play I watched seemed interesting.
I need to know more about that.
I’ve read Maze Rats and like the super simple system there.
A new system more compatible with other OSR games and retroclones is in the works.
What other ways deal with skills.
d20/roll under stats or roll under stats on xd6/etc.
I’ve read some that use saving throws for skills, or replace saving throws with rolling under vs.
My desire for simplicity is twofold.
First, as a GM, I want a game where the rules are simple enough that all can grasp and it easy to run with minimal or no referral back to a book or screen during a game.
Second, simple is also better as a player.
This is especially relevant for those new to RPGs.
The fewer and less complex the fiddly bits, AKA the rules, the easier for new players to get into it.
I put out a call across my social media sites for what tips and tricks GMs have for minimizing what they need at the table.
I will pull that together into its own post soon.
Ability ScoresRetroclone Child’s Play – Monster Creation.
March 25, 2018 Leave a comment My granddaughter turned three in mid-January.
Last week she started a new game with me of “Talking About Animals.” She says, “Let’s talk about animals.” I ask what kind of animal she wants to talk about.
She says things like kangaroo, horse, hippopotamus.
I tell her something factual, and to her.
interesting and amazing about that animal.
Today, she wanted to talk about animals.
Unusually, she started off with cats that were blue, so I mentioned Persian cats that are sort of blue.
Then she decided to talk about dogs.
When I asked what kind, she said blue again, and I told her a bit about blue healers. Next she said, “Monsters!” When I asked what kind, she said green.
When I asked what they ate, she said, “Ceilings!” I went with it and talked about being able to see the sky and the clouds and the sun now, and then the stars and moon tonight.
I asked where they lived, and she said in her shoe.
It was so cute and perfect I started up the web cam, made a test to make sure it had sound.
We made a perfect one take on three monsters, green, black, and blue.
Unfortunately, when I moved the microphone closer, I bumped the mute button, and a flawless take is a silent movie….
In the first take, she came up with the black and blue monsters, their diet, and lairs on her own on the spot.
She looked around to see what was around my desk for the new ones.
She chose colors based on what she saw.
My computer is black, and I have baby wipes because she wants to play when she has sticky fingers or a runny nose.
I’ve managed to avoid the worst of what she’s brought home from daycare.
This simple exercise shows how easy it is to come up with ideas for monsters.
One can extrapolate the look around your desk, bookshelves, kitchen, garage, etc.
to come up with ideas for items, treasure, locations, NPCs, and more.
Also, as a DM/GM it is OK to change your mind about something.
For monsters, just make a variant that look alike/similar. Don’t be afraid to GM.
You just create starting conditions for your players and as they interact with it, you modify the environment to present new challenges and opportunities to the players.
While it may seem artificial and awkward at first, as with anything, it gets better with time.
So below is the second take, not near as good, but lots of fun.
Below that, I will have simplified stats for her monsters.
Feel free to use her creations with attribution – Nikola Hamilton.
Green Monsters Lair: Shoes & Computers Size: Tiny Diet: Ceilings Number Appearing: Blockbusters.
(That’s a lot!) Black Monsters Lair: Grandpa’s jacket Size: Tiny Diet: Grass (not so much as to prevent grandpa from mowing the lawn.) Blue Monsters Lair: Cellphones Size: Tiny Diet: Used baby wipes ImaginationRPGs for Kids Play Testing Commences.
February 26, 2018 Leave a comment Today was an awesome day of gaming.
I usually either play or run on Roll20 noon to 4.
The GM for today had to call off due to illness.
I wasn’t worried.
I had an offer to play test my new card game idea at the FLGS,.
A new game I wrote about a couple weeks ago.
I just got the play test deck I ordered yesterday.
It is a game that I thought would work for 2-6 players.
I two person game is obviously different with the card flow, etc.
It took about 90 minutes with figuring out a couple workarounds for things that were unclear in the initial rules.
I ended up with valuable feedback, and a real basis to evaluate my game idea.
It amazed me that the game played almost exactly the way I imagined it.
I can see the play of this game in my mind’s eye.
I very rarely have such clarity with an idea, and even more rarely manage to execute it in the real world.
Talk about happy.
Thanks to Joel, Playtester #1.
Running Metamorphosis Alpha.
MA-Red Shirt Metamorphosis At One Well Brewery Since my chance to play on Roll20 got cancelled, my first play tester’s friends were free after 5:00 PM, so I went to a game friendly brewpub, One Well Brewing.
I ran my [Affiliate Link] scenario
Red Shirt Metamorphosis, that I have ran online a couple times, and at UCon a couple years ago.
I’ll next run it at Marmalade Dog at the end of March.
Four players new to [Affiliate Link] and several new to old style play or seeking old school simplicity.
They were not used to player knowledge and common sense questions being the way to approach the situation.
I gave them “hot stove moments” where they had missed obvious questions to ask.
There were too used to GMs spoon feeding them everything.
Once they realized the initial conditions I set was not 100% of the available environment, they got into it.
They “beat” the scenario by achieving the goal of a four hour convention setting in 3 hours.
They had more gear in spite of having worse rolls to set the initial conditions of the scenario.
We exchanged contact information and will work on setting up a game.
Play Test Number 2.
Play Test #2 After the game, I mentioned my card game and they were eager to try it.
So I had 4 players, and Joel, play tester number 1, was one of them.
With me, we had 5 players.
This made the game take about 45 minutes and we did a lot of talking and figuring out a few of the situations that arose to either adjudicate, or consider a rules revision.
Once again, I did not win, but I didn’t care.
People were playing my game.
Not only that, they liked it.
Each of them said if this was a Kickstarter, they would back it.
I suspected it was good enough for Kickstarter.
By that I mean, a solid idea that can have the rough edges worked out through more play testing.
If I do my job right and iron out all the details, a Kickstarter to fund art should easily fund, and could do better than I expect.
More valuable feedback was given.
The two best, or my favorite comments: From Jake from the second play test game, when I asked what he liked the best about it.
“Playability – You can pick it up and be playing quickly.” Joel, the most experienced player next to me, after two games said, “The light learning curve.” Jake was really excited, and knows a lot of student artists who might be interested in doing art for the cards.
I’m glad to consider new artists, if their art style is what I’m looking for.
If my efforts can get them exposure and regular work, even better.
I’m bringing my play test deck to Gary Con, and if you’re around when I’m not running or playing, we can definitely play.
I’ll be there sometime Wednesday, which reminds me I need to figure out travel plans with my roommate for the weekend.
We have yet to set a time to leave.
This is so cool.
Card Game Idea Strikes.
February 10, 2018 3 Comments Last year at Gary Con IX, I had an idea for a couple of card games.
I’m not a big card game player, mostly because I don’t have a regular in-person gaming group.
I have some rough outlines for those, but I need to polish them a lot so they are coherent and explainable to another person.
Towards the end of this post, I mentioned I had a card game idea.
Creative lightning strikes come unexpected and this happened to me last night.
A much simpler variation of one of the ideas from the last Gary Con came to me.
It was one of those, clear and almost fully formed ideas.
I hurriedly typed up the basics that came to mind.
This morning, I was filled with the ideas to round out the game, and typed out most of the rest of the rules.
I think it’s a playable game, and there are some twists and turns in it so it will be different each time.
My level of excitement and inspiration may not translate to others, but I think I can polish what I have for clarity, and mock up a deck in time to take it to Gary Con X.
There are so many creative gamers there, and the low-key atmosphere is a great place to hone game ideas.
If my game has merit, it will be evident from how others receive it.
A good elevator pitch will help.
I ordered 500 blank playing cards from Amazon [Affiliate Link ]last year, and started trying to mock up my original idea, but it bogged down.
Scribbling out the card faces and leaving the backs blank will work for a rough play test, but it would be cool to have a mockup with a printed back and public domain art to take with me.
I am very torn right now.
I REALLY want to work on this NOW, but I still have game prep to go for some of my games I’m running at Gary Con.
This sort of thing happens to me all the time.
I am in the groove with something, and some new idea/thing comes to my attention, and I have to be all about that new thing.
I may not be overly ambitious/optimistic about this, and I might actually be able to do a decent job for a professionally printed play test deck in time to have it for Gary Con.
The voice saying, “Do Eeet!” is very loud at the moment.
It’s almost as loud as it was last night.
I’d hoped typing this up to share my excitement, while I alternated with tweaking my rough rules, would dampen that desire.
I’m sure it would cost a lot to rush a print job, but part of me doesn’t care.
If I totally suck at manipulating art to make a single card image, that would greatly reduce my enthusiasm.
I’m going to have to try to make some cards, and if I’m lousy at it, then I can set this aside.
However, I know there are tools that make it fairly easy (I’ve done a lot of research.), and I printed a deck I bought online that I had to manipulate to work with the printer I chose.
So I may have something worthy of a rough deck that looks decent by this evening.
I have played a few DCC funnels at conventions and a few modules at the gaming table.
I’ve even been a player in a play test of a module.
I can’t mention that, but if my name shows up in the acknowledgements, you’ll know which one(s).
The Map Is Not The World.
June 16, 2015 Leave a comment I posted a review about two different published books of hex paper the other day.
I shared the post on the RPG Blog Alliance Community, and had this comment: “But then those hexes put an artificial constraint on mapping.
First map, then grid.” I started a reply, and it just got longer and longer, so I decided it made more sense to make a post out of it.
I’ve had the title for this post for several weeks, and was gong to write about it anyway, this just seems to fit.
Each DM must do what works best for them, when it comes to mapping. If making a map and then adding hexes, squares, or whatever it is you use, works for you, great.
There are two kinds of maps – those for the player and those for the DM.
As DM I need the hexes as I plot where things are to gauge accurate distances, etc.
I already have maps, the one drawn by my brother, the artist, after he saw my original map 25+ years ago, and was like, “Just, no….:.
He drew it on hex paper.
He chose not to see the hexes when he drew it.
The other(s) are a collection of maps I put together from zooming in, and I changed my interpretation of the original map.
I goofed and need to get one consolidated map to fix stuff I was just dealing with mentally during play.
That only works with the player’s in my in-person game.
For my start up of an online version of the game with the same starting point as the original players, I need to fix it.
For players, I can draw it however I want, and scale and accuracy don’t matter.
(Unless it’s a science fiction or modern setting where technology and accurate maps are easily available.) The players just need an idea of how things relate to each other.
For games, there are two styles of maps, accurate and properly scaled and artful maps.
Some have the talent to do both at the same time on the same piece of paper/computer interface.
I don’t want to do the map in Hexographer, for example, and then give it to players, they can guess where the hexes are, and learn things before they encounter them.
My chicken scratches on hex paper is so that I know at a glance what is where.
It is a tool for use in play.
For hex crawl style play, this is needed.
I have always played the hex crawl style, we just didn’t call it that back then.
We just called it play.
The player’s won’t see this map.
My player’s will only have maps that are available to the people of my world.
They also have to be able to find the maps, and try to get a peek, or beg, borrow, or steal them.
I am thinking of maps in the style of ancient and medieval maps.
Maps of large scale with close to the accuracy of modern maps did not happen until accurate clocks allowed tracking and plotting position.
If you have seen maps that exaggerate how big Florida is, you will get my point.
It changed size drastically as more accurate measurement of time and distance occurred.
Such maps give one an impression of the world that can have interesting repercussions if you follow them literally.
Even modern maps, such as flat projections of the entire planet skew the size of Greenland, and other places, to a ridiculous degree.
One has to use a very creative representation on a flat surface to get size, coastline, and distances accurate.
The best way to represent a planet is with a globe.
Even then, the kind with relief that indicates mountains and valleys does not have an accurate representation.
I have heard people say, and read it somewhere, that if the Earth were the size of a bowling ball it would be smoother than a bowling ball.
Also a bowling ball scaled up to the size of Earth would have ridiculously high mountains and deep valleys.
No matter how we try to map, we don’t have a way, that I know of, to allow a person to see a representation of the whole planet, that is accurate in all aspects and allows one to see the entire surface as with a flat map.
Unless our fantasy world is flat, we can’t make an accurate map.
We have two choices, spend a lot of time doing the math and adjustments necessary to account for distances as one moves North or South, or just fudge it.
I tend to be a detail oriented guy, but the level of calculation needed to do that and make it perfect takes a lot of time that I could be putting into more maps or other game preparation.
Even a science fiction or modern setting for an RPG with accurate map making technology and easily available copies, it is easier to hand wave certain things.
If a planet hopping science fiction RPG, I won’t map every inch of a globe, if there is a known location the players are seeking.
If they do a different planet for each adventure, I’m not mapping a planet and placing all the cities and towns, and then not using them again.
I may not make a map to share with the players, but just have a description of the atmosphere, continents, climate zones, and tech level.
If I couldn’t find an online generator, I would build a script(s) to quickly spit this out for me, or just roll like a madman, like it was back in the day.
Some people can spit out maps a lot quicker than I can.
For me, it is a challenge to make them not all look alike, especially dungeons.
I explain some sameness as a cultural thing of the builders.
Does anyone design a dungeon and then add the grid.
I don’t know of anyone back in the day who did it that way.
We all grabbed the graph paper we could find, whether 4 or 5 hexes to the inch.
My group favored 5 squares to the inch.
I use both sizes now.
My aging eyes have a preference for the slightly larger 4 squares to the inch.
No matter what form of map we use to represent a solar system, planet, continent, country, city, village, dungeon, tomb, etc.
It is not an accurate representation.
Using the grid of squares or hexes to make an accurate plot, it only a two dimensional representation, height it missing.
With no grid and whether hand drawn and scanned and further manipulated or drawn directly to computer via mouse or stylus and tablet, and made into a thing of beauty, neither is an accurate representation.
Each only gives some of the information that is further conveyed by our descriptions of what our players see.
With theater of the mind, we can use a few apt descriptions and make those of us with less than fantastic map skills allow each player to construct the world in their own mind.
If we could generate directly from the mind what each of us “sees” for a certain world, I suspect that there would be very few parts of them match up exactly.
There is also another aspect to mapping.
Use at the table for one’s own group, and publishing a product, be it a module, or a setting.
For just a playable item, I can easily do it myself.
For a map in a published product, I would either spend the time to get really good at making maps, or I would hire someone to do it.
The audience for the map tells a lot about the requirements for the map.
I can have a few scribbles on paper, and I can run a game.
If I want to take that idea and attempt to market it, I have to put a LOT more into it.
For me to take my world, or one of the adventures of my players, and make a publishable product out of it that stands a chance of selling, will take a lot of development to make happen.
The few notes one can use to DM with quickly grows if one starts writing out what must be known to let someone else DM the same scenario.
Even all that extra work to let others into my world, in whole, or in part, cannot begin to capture the way I see it in my mind.
There was an infamous Kickstarter for a megadungeon that, from what I have read online, illustrates this point.
What works for the creator to run his creation, is often insufficient for another to pick up and do the same.
Review – Star Temple of Saturgalia.
May 12, 2015 Leave a comment The first(?) available third party adventure for.
Star Temple of Saturgalia is a six page PDF
that after the cover and OGL leave four pages for the adventure.
This was billed as an introductory adventure.
Nowhere in the PDF does it indicate that is is for low level characters
It is obvious from a reading of the text that it is for a group of low level characters.
The method of handling encounters almost guarantees that there will be three space encounters en route to the planet.
Instead of a 1 in 6 chance of there being an encounter, there is a 1 in six chance of no encounter.
The odds of the encounter ignoring the players or being friendly combined are 50% or greater.
So even if there is an encounter, it does not guarantee a chase or fight.
The intent of the designer is to have tension.
If one is playing up to the tropes of the genre, this is understandable.
However, the GM is free to handle this his or her own way.
Once on the planet, there are two encounters, potentially competition from an NPC party, or natives are the greatest possibility.
A natural disaster or a creature encounter are also likely.
The use of bumble dogs, or a new creature, the gindo, introduced at the end of the module.
This is a very basic outline of an adventure.
With the near guarantee of one or two ship encounters, plus two encounters on the way to the temple, it will stretch out the adventure.
If you go by the roll of the dice, and there are no space encounters, and the planet side encounters are neutral or friendly, this could be a quick one maybe two hour one shot.
It is an interesting idea, and has enough meat on it that an experience GM could make an evening of it.
If you don’t have a list of natural disasters, you will need to make your own table, as the author only gives a couple of suggestions.
The temple itself is a basic dungeon crawl, and it an interesting twist.
The map is he standard square rooms and passages, which server to get the point across.
The fonts used for the room numbers are not clear, so that some numbers look like each other.
I assume that the rooms and areas are numbered in a clockwise fashion, so it is easy to make sense of it, but it still takes a moment to be sure of this.
There are also a few grammatical errors, indicating that the text needed a quick review by a new set of eyes or to sit for a few days before finalizing.
A suggested description of the natives of the planet, if not a new race, would be interesting.
At one dollar, the items, tables, new creature, and other ideas presented can make an interesting one-shot introduction of the rules to new players, and a skilled GM can easily expand it to be something more substantial in their own campaign.
If you need some help for prepping last minute, this module only needs a few things to be ready to play on short notice.
, is a section pulled from the.
DayTrippers is an RPG game by Tod Foley of As If Productions.
I had not heard of this game, but this is one piece that many complain is not in the framework.
It is a nice piece to have if you don’t have another ruleset to borrow from, or don’t wish to create your own tables.
It is a system agnostic method for generating star systems from the size and type of star, to the number and size of planets.
It is reminiscent of what I recall from other science fiction games back in the day, most likely , but perhaps also.
At 50 cents, it is hard to say no to this.
of has produced , an interesting set of 6 new classes compatible with.
At $1.49 it is very affordable.
The lost worlder is a “barbarian in spaaaace!” The don’t use high tech gear, but have a chance to randomly push buttons to make something work, with an equal chance of catastrophic failure.
One of the abilities is extra resistance to disease and poison, with a bonus on such saving throws.
I am reminded of , and similar such characters.
The simplicity of each class fits right in with the overall theme of.
If you want more classes, or ideas for modding or making your own classes for , or , this is a good start.
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