Friday, July 28, 2017

Argle Bargle

Work on The Nameless Way has been sluggish lately. I'm still putting in my time every day, but I seem to spend a lot of it staring at the screen. Maybe I'm stressed about Gen Con, which promises to be a zoo this year. Maybe I'm stressed about other stuff. Maybe stress has nothing to do with it. I'll keep plugging away. I am still creeping forward, after all, and I need this book.

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.