Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some thoughts about characters:

One of the best and hardest things about role playing games are the characters.  They often drive the story as much, if not more so, than the events.  I'm not an accredited expert on the subject, so take this for what it's worth.  I find that characters can come from anything and anywhere if you do one thing: shut up your inner critic.

That was the first thing my high school teacher told us when writing any creative piece.  "Shut off your editor and just write."  I have more than a few silly ideas that, honestly, will most likely never be seen by eyes that aren't mine.  Among the literally over a hundred names and notes I have jotted down, two characters truly stick out to me that feel... separate, of their own mind, and yes, alive.

I've looked up what makes a good character online and asked teachers when I've written creative pieces for classes.  Most of their answers can be summarized by 'don't stereotype'.  Extremely helpful, isn't it?  It's difficult to explain how one comes up with character ideas or goes about creating a character.  I'll post in the player's section a more detailed way of creating a character using my first for FO:E, Silverlight, as an example here.  Hopefully that will let you see what I'm thinking when I create a character/how I go about refining an idea.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Session 7/25 and Session 8/1 wrap up:

Our heroes relaxed for a day around town to let Grace heal after using the drill.  The local sheriff, Copper Shield, contacted the party to send them off north and investigate the source of the storms damaging the crops.  After serving the town for the night with Dares on tap, Nopony cooking, Grace serving/bouncing [yes, I mean she is the bar's guard.  Crit on a magic throw and suddenly everyone's afraid of her] with Jack "serving" the guests.  Given the public nature of the net, that's about all I'm saying on the subject.

Afterward, Nopony gathered the group together, and in a touching scene that I won't copy out here, told the party that he is, in fact: a zebra who's name is Xin.  This has a slightly mixed reaction only because Grace doesn't care at all while Dares and Jack were at least surprised.

During the night a storm from the north ever-present storm rolls in and almost washes a colt out with it, but Dares, Jack and Xin are able to rescue the colt.  Yes, Grace completely slept through the storm.  Inconvenient ones are annoying.

The next day the party sets everything up to be able to go exploring.  They need food for the week journey so the party goes by the farms to collect food for the bar as well as themselves.  As they make their rounds they learn that the previous owner threatened to turn the ponies who didn't give her food over to the slavers for the monthly tribute.  Not surprising to most of the party, but is still aggravating to deal with.  Once that's all done the party heads out, dodging sand devils, rain radiation and guard bots.  Who do manage to get lucky aims and nearly killed Xin, causing Grace to make a flying medical check to save the zebra while Jack and Dares shot the rest of the bots.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Behind the Screen, 8/10/2012

It is my job to talk about boring rules stuff but this week's session is light on mechanics testing, bless and curse the role players in the test group, leaving me no rule changes to document or new mechanics to present. After staring at a screen trying to write something about nothing, we'll do something a little different: a look at the design philosophy that goes into adapting a rules set to a new setting.

Click too see a discussion on how easy it is to make rules that go horribly right after the break.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Rules Change Log, 8/3/2012

FO:E - APMRPG continues to mutate as the testing feedback rolls in and the design team learns again that no rule survives first contact with players.

In addition, some new mechanics are presented, ranging from the debut of APMRPG's first attempt at represent alchemy to a forgotten perk to help characters visit Miss Fortune on their foes.

This week's changes and a collection of grammar edits have already been incorporated into the rules so they are all set to download and go. You can find a highlight of the big changes after the break.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Journey towards Completion, 7/26/2012 
FO:E - APMRPG is a work in progress, so there are many parts of the book that are missing. Much of the current designed process is filling in these missing pages so the rules can be called a complete first draft.

Some of these gaps are due to the lack of time. The perk list in Chapter 5 has a number of mid-level perks without description, waiting their turn while low level perks get proof read. Some gaps you find only after play testing, like when you find out the rules do not put a cap on a character's carrying weight as the players loot everything that is not nailed down!  

In this week's update the perk list and encumbrance rules are little less incomplete. To see the new additions to the rules you can either click the link to the rules on the side or check them out after the break.