Thursday, July 20, 2017

Qalidar Qritter Qatalog

The Qalidar Qritter Qatalog has been released. It'll be in stores in a few months, but you can get it on DriveThru and Amazon now.

Anyway, once upon a time, there was the 2013 Pre-Release Edition of Qalidar: Resistance. It was somewhat hastily assembled, but it was the complete game as it existed at the time. All the character stuff, all the rules stuff, all the setting stuff, all the monster stuff. My original intent was to build the final release of the game on the same model, and put out a "quick-start" in the meantime, possibly with a Kickstarter once the additional writing was done. Part of this final project was that major sentient "monsters" would each have a profile section with technology, organizations, the whole deal, instead of just an entry under a stat block.

Other stuff happened and I needed to put it all on hold, so I took down the "quick-start" and replaced it with the Basic book. That book is limited to fifth level, but otherwise it's a full, playable game. I figured that would do for a while.

Time passed. I had another idea. I was, by then, certain that I would never want the crowd-funding chain around my ankle. I also had another project going which was much more important, and putting together a big ole game book would be too much of a distraction. The other thing was, I thought it would be nice if the people who bought Qalidar Basic could consider it a step towards the whole game, instead of just a disposable intro pamphlet.

That brings us up to The Fire Within. I figured I could use those species profile sections I was talking about to frame individual supplements. I was also thinking of using them to zero in on pieces of the setting. Anyway, for that one I went with the Stardust. Most of the book, to be honest, is taken up by character-building stuff and expanded rules for organizations. There was a lot of that crunchy stuff that didn't make it into Basic, but needed to be published. It still gave me a concept for the title and the cover, though, and the section that really is about fire people is pretty cool.

I'm not sure I'm ever going to write those other profiles. I don't spend anywhere near as much time on game design as I used to. I still have all the original monsters, though. I put a lot into them, before their book got pushed aside, and they've just been sitting here on my hard drive since then. Some of them weren't even in the preview edition. I always felt like, without all the weird creatures, Qalidar wasn't really Qalidar.

So I crammed all the old monsters and the new monsters into one book and that's what we've got now.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Superhero RPG DNA Revisited

So, three years or so into my superhero campaign, I thought it would be fun to revisit the Superhero RPG Appendix N Blog Challenge and talk about what really typified my style. I should say our style, though, because it's not just me. Throughout the process, I've adapted to what the players were doing. Even when I wasn't asking them what sort of things they wanted to do next, I was looking at what they had enjoyed before and trying to think of things that would challenge or amuse them.

So yeah, the old list is behind that link up yonder. Here's what it looks like now:
  1. Fantastic Four: No change there. I cribbed a whole story arc and a couple of shorter outlines (including the most recent one) directly from FF stories, and it'll always be my first love where super-heroes are concerned. I was tempted to put this one in a larger font size or something, just to be sure I'm being clear.
  2. Uncanny X-Men: As before, mostly the period from the death of Phoenix to the resolution of the Brood storyline. The overlapping plots and character arcs bouncing around in this period feel a lot like our game to me. Also, it had space adventures and time travel and Doctor Doom and Magneto and even an issue where they went to Hell.
  3. Archer: The conflicting characters thing from before still applies. Another Archer-like element was the way the game veers from standard super-hero fare to hilarious weirdness and back without warning.
  4. Excalibur: This one is new to the list. Take a group of characters who all kinda got shuffled out of other titles, cram them into a quirky transdimensional lighthouse, and go nuts. The tone feels right. They bicker all the time, but still mostly like each other. The run I'm thinking of doesn't go much beyond #50. I lost interest when Alan Davis left... again.
  5. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends: Anybody remember this show? It was corny and weird at times, but mostly it was just unabashedly comic-booky. This is another newcomer to the list, although it might have made the other one if I'd thought of it in time.
A bunch of stuff dropped off the list just because I felt like the influence didn't materialize. I suppose it still might. I used Baron Karza and Dire Wraiths and Deathwing in the campaign, but it still never felt like a Micronauts or Rom story to me. And, I dunno, they've just never seemed to be desperate enough for it to be Farscape, despite the other stuff I said about it still being true.  

Maybe in another three years it'll all be Vertigo titles and gory anime flicks. 

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Scrap On!

The writing is going well. I've got the heroes crammed into an underground labyrinth loosely based on a real cave, and further developments are revealing more about why Ezren acts the way he does and what he's up to.

The reason I'm posting this, though, is that, after a long hiatus, there's another Scrap Pile event in my schedule. It's likely to be followed by yet another hiatus, so I want to make it special. Luckily, I was already planning to present this as Giant Size Scrap Pile #3 because it would have been a sort of "welcome back" kinda thing. I've already written down a lot of what I wanted to do, so the adventure just has a few kinks to work out and a few more details to write down.

Looks like I'll also be running a game of Timewatch at some point.

Also, the Greyhawk campaign is still going strong. We're playing that next week, too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Greyhawk Again

Couple more Greyhawk sessions:

Secret Rooms

Undaunted by scary voices, they soon found a hidden trapdoor with a stairway under it. They found a barracks room with a big dining table and a pirate-looking dude whittling. Creeping up on the dude, they took him captive. They asked about Ferok and the dude said he was Dobbins, Ferok's butler. He said they preferred to keep "troublemakers" away, which was why they didn't do much to maintain the place. Looking around, they found a dead knight of Keoland covered with mold, and Sakura was attacked by giant centipedes in the kitchen upstairs (different stairway).

In a different nook, they found a bedroom/office which apparently belonged to the bossman. After looting it, they moved on to the door in the back that said, "DANGER" in big letters across the wooden slab that barred it from their side. In this room, they found a bunch of skeletons with bright green slimy stuff crawling all over their bones. Beyond this room, another secret door led them to an alchemist's laboratory. They snuck up behind him and clocked him on the head, knocking it clean off because he was actually just a skeleton (the non-reanimated kind) sitting in a chair. He had some books on alchemy, a number of goldified items on his table, and, clutched in his hand, a weird pale gold pebble, which Jinso immediately claimed.

Smugglers and Sneks

They started to explore the rest of the house, but some weird screams brought them back to the basement, where they found Dobbins edging his way off towards the other end of the big room. He said he was trying to get himself a bit of grog, but he was going the wrong way for that. A bit of searching revealed yet another secret door, this one leading into some artificially-enlarged caverns.

Out thataway, they found a bunch of nautically themed dudes moving bolts of cloth and casks of something around. They tried to be sneaky, but got caught so there was a big fight. There were also some gnolls hanging around and a guy in a hood slinging spells. Upon his death, the hooded wizard turned out to be some kind of wingless insect creature with a long mosquito-like snout.

They also found a sea cave with boat anchored in it and some more silk and brandy. They explored the rest of the house and then went back to ask their captive some more questions. Seeing that they already knew what was up, he gave up trying to hide anything and told them about their smuggling operation and the illusionist Sanbalet who made the house look haunted and how they signaled the ship.

Dobbins seemed genuinely surprised that Sanbalet was really a giant weevil, but said he had seen him talk to similar creatures on one of their stops near the mouth of the Javan River.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Nameless Way

There's some news about changing the novel formerly known as Gorgudai to The Nameless Way over at that site.

In not-really-related news, I reduced the prices of the print versions of Stars, Specters, and Super-Powers and Losing Lanterns to $5.99. Plus, if you buy the print version from Amazon, you get the Kindle one free through their Matchbook program. The print prices might go back up later, but the Matchbook thing will definitely stay on. I don't want anyone who invests in physical copies of my books to have to pay for the digital ones, but I don't always have a choice.

I've run the Greyhawk campaign again, but I still haven't written up the last session. And we're playing again, tonight. I'm thinking I may start doubling them up so there's not such a flood of session logs here. Maybe I'll record them somewhere else. I don't especially want to set up a whole other site like I did for The Scrap Pile, though. We'll see.