Sunday, March 15, 2015

Slow Corrosion...

The metaphorical creative wall is slowly being worked through, with a couple of hitches...

The setting is coming together nicely in my head and on paper in the form of trace notes. There's still a lot of details to work out, plus a timeline and some rudimentary maps, but I at least have *SOME* handle on it. Yeah, there's a lot of work to do for it, but getting enough done to start should not be that difficult... except...

I still have no idea what system I am using...

I have looked through and/or thought about all the systems I have that are generic... I have looked through specific systems... Hell, I have looked through "dubiously acquired" PDFs of games I do not currently own to see if something really fits what I am trying to do... and I am at a loss... I currently have nothing system-wise that I feel comfortable shoving this setting in.

Trouble is...  I know that every time I write a "new" game system, I am just re-inventing the wheel, and there's not always a need to do so. I mean, if you want to play high fantasy, there's really no reason to reach for something other than D&D/Pathfinder. If you want to play superheroes, grab Mutans & Masterminds or Champions/HERO. Horror? Call of Cthulhu or Chill will serve you well. Science-Fiction... it's not that simple as there as has never been a truly definitive system for it other than Traveller, which does hard sci-fi REALLY well, but mucks space opera all up. There are games that can do space opera, but most of the them are tied to a licensed setting and have added "features" I want nowhere near my game.

What I have in mind is space-opera with hard sci-fi leanings. The closest analogue to the setting I can think of is Firefly/Serenity, but the system published for that is horri-bad. Plus, it has a couple of elements that don't jibe with my setting. One is small, but the other makes a huge difference. Religion... F/S has it, though in a minor capacity. The setting I have in mind doesn't... at least not in large enough doses to make a difference. Second, F/S has no non-humans, and for once in my miserable gaming life, I want some alien weird shit available to my players. No non-humans will kind of kill the history I have in mind for the whole thing...

It's enough to make a crazy man crazier, but not quite enough to make him sane...

I understand this is a prison of my own making, but I'm typically crafty enough to escape... This one, though... This one's tough...

Knowing me, I'll kluge together a "new" homebrew and make it fly... 'cause when you don't have an actual key to the cage, you gotta fashion one out of gum wrappers, toenail clippings, and nacho chips because that may be all you have available... and you gotta try to escape... It probably won't work, but who the hell knows...

It just might...

-- GopherDave

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Changing For The Sake Of Change...

Okay... After about 18 months of running, I am putting aside my Tai'eres game. Love the setting... Love the system... but I can only handle so much fantasy before my eyes itch.

So that leaves a slight hole that I do want to fill... and I want to fill it with something space opera-like... Therein lie some problems, as I have some very specific things that I do not want in my game. Should be easy, right? It's my game. Just rip 'em out of there. That is the plan, but I have some things to work through in my head and compiling a small list of things I would like to have (and not have) within the setting...

  • Nothing that resembles "the Force". Religion is fine... Faith that grants one extraordinary abilities and makes a limited range melee weapon more useful in a battle than anything with a range greater than a thrown rock needs to stay the hell away from my game.
  • FTL ships, but just barely. Maybe ships that go up to 3x-5x the speed of light at most. Enough that travelling within a system doesn't take weeks, but not so fast that travelling *BETWEEN* systems is as easy as hopping to the corner store for some milk. That being said, even that sort of limited speed makes actual starship combat nigh impossible as it becomes easy to outrace anything that is fired upon another ship. Hmmmm...
  • Need about seven to ten other races put together to hang out with the humies. Not all of them need to be player races, but something to add some variety is nice. Speaking of humans... Not sure if I want them almost extinct, or plentiful enough to be some sort of galactic power. That's something else to think about
  • Going back to weapons, I would really like to avoid light-based weapons. The reality of them is that they fire a continuous beam until power is cut. There are no "bolts" or "blasts" associated with them as light cannot exist without a source. Gyrojet are cool... Missles are okay... hell, even regular bullets work, be they projected via chemical propellent or magnetism. Plasma weapons that use some form of limited containment work as well, as they, while powerful, will eventually disperse.

Just looking at this limited list, it looks like I have a lot to think about. Shame I'm trying to put something together for two evenings from now...

I hate the way I think sometimes...

-- GD

Thursday, March 05, 2015

PING...

Just a signal to let folks know that I still exist...

Let's just say that things have been... interesting... in the intervening time, and leave it at that.

As far as this blog goes, I'm not certain how often I will post here, even if I get back up to semi-regular writing. The original purpose of the place has sort of come and gone, and I am at an impasse on what to write about anymore.

Most of my gaming projects are at a lag, and while I have been steadily acquiring music, writing about it just seems to take some of the fun away. Ehhh... who knows...

I will leave with this comic-related tidbit, though... If you are not reading the current iteration of the Inhumans (titled "INHUMAN"), you are cheating yourself out of a damn fine read...

-- GopherDave

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Alive, Kicking, and Mending...


Okay... I'm not dead... Though I may have been closer to it than I thought...

Once I "recovered" from the whole sinus nastiness a few weeks back, I never really felt 100%. There was lingering fatigue that I just couldn't shake, and a barely there cough that showed up maybe six times a day, if that.

Then a couple weeks ago, I ended up in the ER with what I thought was just abdominal cramping and food poisoning. I did indeed have that, but what I didn't know was that I also had pneumonia. Whoops!

So, while I have been working, I've also been resting quite a bit more, and trying to take better care of myself. I'm not really wanting to go back to the gym, but I am eating a bit better, and I have kicked my 2-3 energy drinks per day habit I had built up.

Barring any other issues, health or otherwise, I am hoping to get back to finishing the Asylum in the next week or so. Beyond that, I promise nothing, as I have no idea how life is going to treat me...

So, if nothing else, this is an update post... Take it for what it is...

peace... GopherDave

Thursday, October 02, 2014

In Sickness and In Health...

Work has been delayed due to a combination of MtG: Khans of Tarkir pre-release events and my getting heinously ill for a week plus soon afterward...

The KTK pre-release events did go well, though, and were our best events of that type in two years. The set is slow, but good, with a fair chunk of value within, thus insuring that sales will be steady for the coming period.

As for the sickness, in a day I went from having an annoying sore throat for the day to having my sinuses take a surprise dump into my lungs at the end of it. Drippy, draining, coughing misery followed... yay.

I am finally on the upswing. Still sick, but doing well enough to catch up on work. I've been reading through the contract that HERO Games sent me for all of this. It's pretty standard, though I am finding little bits that are apparently outdated according to their head honcho. That basically means once I parse it all out, we begin the contract back-and-forth and get things situated on that end. By the time that happens, I should have the Asylum done, the Gateway Guardians up and started, plus outlines for one of the other (now three) projects that are on the burner at least sketched out. Yeah, contract issues can take that long to work out to both parties' satisfaction.

I figured folks would like an update, and I wish I had more to provide, but extra-curricular work moves slower than pace of real life...

peace... GopherDave

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More Progress... the Asylum

After a delay of a day due to some shenanigans at the store which interrupted a night off, I have finished the game mechanic bits for the Asylum. Next up are a group overview and backgrounds for the individual members, plus all the fiddly bits like quotes, appearance descriptions, etc.

Depending on what happens later on today, I should be able to finish the backgrounds for at least one of the characters, if not two. Given the group, they are a mixed bag of nuts, but they can be scary because they have a purpose and a mission.

I almost forgot that I have some gaps to fill in from an earlier post...
  • the Orderly -- A goon that drugs folks by shoving a veritable cornucopia of pharmaceuticals into the mouths of the unwilling. Barring being able to turn people into vegetables with pills, the Orderly is just as willing to beat a person into a mental lima bean.
  • Rubber Room -- What stretches through cracks? Chokes necks and breaks back? It would be the one they refer to as Rubber Room. That said, the pliant one shows a softer side at times, shielding innocent witnesses to the brutality that the Asylum practices on a routine basis.
  • Lobotomy -- Two drills, no waiting... Lobotomy is the tactician of the group, and is a highly skilled fighter with a mean streak a mile wide. His favorite trick is to grab a victim around the neck from behind and drill. Mess ensues...
  • E.S.T. -- The name is short for Electro-Shock Therapy, but the only folks getting short-circuited are his targets. Be prepared for pain and the smell of ozone when this guy hits the proverbial dance floor.
  • Dr. X -- All minds are pliant under to auspices of the "good doctor". Whether it's conjuring up nightmares or lulling victims off into hypnotic slumber, Dr. X seems to always have the right prescription on hand.
Once I get the background bits done and into the Hero Designer files, I will be more than willing to fire those files off to a few discernable folks for perusal. However, current players in my game need not apply for that job... =P

peace... GopherDave

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Progress Update... the Asylum

Currently working on the Sixth Edition HERO System mechanics for the Asylum, a group of villains I've been throwing against players since third edition. Three of them are done from a game mechanics standpoint. Two more to put together, and then I will need to do various background details that involve actual writing. In that regard, I have been taking notes (both mental and electronic) on both individual histories, as well as a group history. Progress is slow, but it is progress.

From the art standpoint, I have been talking to a couple of folks, but I am not going to put out any sort of art direction until I get some more details worked out with game system licensing (which is in the VERY PRELIMINARY stages).

As it goes, in the group we have...

  • the Orderly -- A goon that drugs folks by shoving a veritable cornucopia of pharmaceuticals into the mouths of the unwilling. Barring being able to turn people into vegetables with pills, the Orderly is just as willing to beat a person into a mental lima bean.
  • Rubber Room -- What stretches through cracks? Chokes necks and breaks back? It would be the one they refer to as Rubber Room. That said, the pliant one shows a softer side at times, shielding innocent witnesses to the brutality that the Asylum practices on a routine basis.
  • Lobotomy -- Two drills, no waiting... Lobotomy is the tactician of the group, and is a highly skilled fighter with a mean streak a mile wide. His favorite trick is to grab a victim around the neck from behind and drill. Mess ensues...
  • E.S.T. -- (mechanics in progress)
  • Dr. X -- (mechanics in progress)

When I hit a wall with character work, I fire up Adobe InDesign and tool around with the look of the packaging. I've done one version of things in that regard thus far, but I am not real happy with it. So I'm going back to the drawing board.

I am also still looking for a project name. I've got a couple of ideas, but I'm not truly enamored with either of them. One references the police agency in the world in charge of keeping super-powered folks in check ("the H.U.R.T. Files" or "the H.U.R.T. Locker"), while the other refers to the main "super-prison" in the world ("the MESA Mandates"). Again, not my favorites, and I am still looking.

peace... GopherDave