Monday, October 31, 2011

Everything Old... er, Classic, is New Again!

I just found out over the weekend that White Wolf is dusting off it's Old World of Darkness, slapping a fresh coat of paint on it and giving the optimistically titled, "Classic World of Darkness", a fresh look just in time for the system's 20th anniversary.

I'm pretty happy about that, all things considered.  Vampire and Wraith interested me more as settings than games, but Mage and Werewolf were fantastic games, and overall the Old... er, Classic World of Darkness was a great example of product and line development, as well as a cautionary tale about reaches and grasps.  The system's greatest strength was it's depth of background and the interconnectedness of the whole thing, with the backstories of the various factions weaving in and out of the others'. 

Unfortunately, they couldn't keep their stories straight.  One book would contradict another, which would then be invalidated by a third.  Which is fine, when you're dealing with deep conspiracies and the like, but the end of it all really got to me.  After years of mapping out every single detail of the World of Darkness, White Wolf put out it's Time of Judgement series, which amounted to them abdicating responsibility for their creation and saying, "how this story ends, the story we've been telling for the last several years at no small cost to you the consumer, yes the ending is up to you, because really, this is YOUR story."

Maybe it was my fault, for having unrealistic expectations for it all - I was suckered by their frankly masterful mixture of mechanics and narrative, and started treating it more like a work of fiction than a game.  I wasn't reading Blood Treachery to find out the stats on the Vampiric Mages, I wanted to know what happened in the war between the Tremere and the Order of Hermes!

Anyways, I'm looking forward to some new stuff from them, and was very interested to see that they will be offering these new books on a print on demand basis from DriveThru RPG.  Interesting times, to say the least

Monday, October 17, 2011

FtA: Preliminary list of human mutations

Originally I was going to make the mutations in From the Ashes be primarily mental, I think I had a vague notion of there being psychic energy leaking from the brains of the PCs, and using that as an explanation for how their actions would have a direct impact on the world.  I still may go that route, but I don't think I'm going to limit the mutations to mental only, but rather use a mixture, in order to NOT BE FAITHFUL TO GAMMA WORLD  IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.

This is the preliminary list of mutations for humans that I've come up with, more to be added soon, and then it's on to the challenging stuff - plant mutations.

Extruding skeleton
Suction cups
Enhanced Attribute
Perfect Balance
Enhanced Sense
Hear Radio Waves
Sound Imitation
Poison Immunity
Third Eyelid
Spray Musk
Photographic Memory
Empathic Control
Mental Shield
Lie Detector
Energy Absorption
Energy Bolt
Energy Detection
Energy Shield
Analyze Mutations
Danger Sense
Density Increase
Matter Transmutation
Matter Warp
Pain Tolerance
Mental Blast

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

An Apocalyptic Appendix N, Part 3

The Mist - One of my favorites - Frank Darabont takes a good Stephen King story and takes it to the next level.  Some of the CGI was a bit dodgy, but the Two Disc Collectors Edition includes a black and white version of the film that looks MUCH better, and is, as Frank Darabont says in the introduction, the closest thing to a Director's Cut as you're likely to see.  Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden stand out, but the ending is one of the ballsiest that I've seen in modern cinema.  Even now, I can't believe that studio execs actually approved it.  I've never been able to listen to Dead Can Dance's The Host of Seraphim the same way since.

The Book of Eli - Denzel Washington wanders the highways and byways of a blasted America like a post apocalyptic Kwai Chang Caine.  Along the way, he encounters the always awesome Gary Oldman, setting the stage for a meditation on faith vs. religion and the moral neutrality of it all.  The movie wears its influences on its sleeve, and it's not too hard to see where it draws its inspiration from, but it is a great film nonetheless, with some fantastic fight choreography, and a twist at the end that makes you want to go back and rewatch the film. 

The Road - Based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, The Road quickly disabuses you of any romantic notions of what post apocalyptic life would be like.  There are no Heroes of the Wastes here, no Bartertowns, no hope.  There is just a man and his son trying to survive in a world they don't belong in anymore.  Things start off bad, and get worse.  And worse.  And then a little worse again.  Forget Aragorn, this is Viggo Mortensen's defining performance.  And any opportunity to see Michael K. Williams (The Wire) act is worth the price of admission.

Panic In Year Zero! - A SciFi classic produced on a shoestring budget, this nonetheless is shocking for the time period it was made in (1962).  A family heads out on a vacation just before Los Angeles is destroyed by a nuclear blast.  This was one of the earliest movies to tackle the idea of social collapse in the wake of calamity, and it does so unflinchingly.  The survivors witness the depths of depravity that mankind can sink to when there is no social compact to protect them.

Logan's Run - This is another one of those films that I'm pretty sure you've seen if you're reading this blog, but it still bears mentioning.  Farah Fawcett was my first crush, and this was the movie that did it.  While as an adult I think the movie is inferior to the book, it nonetheless made quite an impression on my as a child.  Logan 5 is a Sandman, someone who hunts down people who try and escape a society that kills them when they reach 30.  The computer that runs this society charges him with tracking down Sanctuary, a place outside their bubble that the Runners supposedly go, and suddenly Logan is out of time.  A basically silly movie, but loads of fun, and there are some truly striking scenes.  If you haven't seen it already, do so. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Divide

I heard about this movie after it debuted at SXSW this year, but the trailer looks amazing.  Directed by Xavier Gans (Hitman), and starring Michael Biehn (Aliens) and Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), the residents of a New York highrise retreat to the basement following a nuclear attack, where things fall apart.  This looks like my kind of movie, and January can't get here soon enough!

Here's the opening scene:

You can see two preview clips Here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

FtA: Burning Down the Garden of Good and Evil

I've mentioned this before, but I reject the notion of good and evil, and even neutrality to a certain extent, within the context of role playing.  Once you accept killing as a part of your system, any notion of good and evil as we understand it goes out the window.  Rather, I'm going to divide the "alignment" of From the Ashes between Law, Chaos, Altruism and Selfishness (although I'd love a different word than Selfishness - I was thinking malevolence, but that's too close to Evil.  Still thinking on that).  Law and Chaos represent your views on how the world should act, while Altruism and Selfishness represent your views on how you should act.  I think that encompasses things nicely, without falling prey to the pitfalls I've previously described.

I've ordered a copy of Lumpley Games' Dogs in the Vineyard, which, on the face of it, is as unlikely a premise as you're apt to find in modern roleplaying.  Loosely based on the Mormon faith in the days of the frontier, you play the titular God's Watchdogs, whose job it is to travel from town to town, delivering mail, handing down the judgements of the Almighty, killing heretics, you know - the usual.  In this world, however, the Lord of Lords is very active, and his word literally is law. 

That mildly interested me as a setting, but the kicker was the last paragraph of the wikipedia article, "One of the most potent aspects of the system is "Town Creation" where the moral landscape of the town is laid out in the form of characters, their desires, and what they've done to each other. This gives the GM the ability to make sure that merely engaging meaningfully in the town is interesting and making wins or losses less important to them. By representing the townsfolk and their interests, rather than presenting a tactical challenge, the GM is able to pose interesting questions of the players and give them opportunities to judge their own characters."

Which is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking to do with From the Ashes.  It arrives tomorrow, and I look forward to mining it for ideas.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FtA: The Hevyn, the Angels and the Riddle

"Tell us the story about the angels, Papa!"  

Tiam gazed up at his father from the floor, his eyes shining in anticipation. 

"One more time, Tiam, then it is time for you to go to bed."

Clearing his throat, the old man retold the tale that had been told to him by his father, and to him by his father before him.

"Up in the sky, beyond the blue, there is a magical city called The Hevyn, where the God Iss lives.  Iss is served by his angels, who do his bidding.  Every once in awhile, Iss will send one of his angels down to earth in a flaming chariot, and for three days they will seek someone they call the "Representative".  No-one knows how they choose, but when they do, they will stop someone, and ask them the Riddle.  The Riddle is different for each person, but the legend has it that when someone answers the Riddle correctly, the angels will bring him back with them to The Hevyn."

"Papa, if I'm good, will the angels take me to The Hevyn?"

"Absolutely - only good boys and girls who go to bed when they're told get asked the Riddle - now go to sleep!"

Up in the thermosphere above the shattered Earth, the International Space Station is still chugging along.  It was automated early in the late 21st century, with an AI designed to perform the necessary orbital corrections, and a nanite processor to create drones for manual repairs.  These have kept it's orbit from decaying in the ages since.  Each contributing space agency had been given a command code for the ISS, and when the world began to collapse, someone shut it down.  No more shuttles were sent up, and it was directed to go into low power mode until someone reactivated it.  With the agencies and all those who knew the password long gone, the ISS has sat silently ever since.  Sometime in the last several hundred years, however, the AI realized that at long last, it was running out of fuel to keep up with the orbital decay, and unless the situation was corrected, the ISS would plunge back to earth.

The AI found itself locked in a programming dilemma - it had been told to maintain the operation of the ISS, but it had been told not to do anything else, and it was rapidly coming to the point where something would need to be done in order to keep the ISS operational.  So it started using the nanites to construct probes, and sending them to earth in search of someone who would reactivate it.  Thus the legend began.  The "angels" are the probes, sent to earth from the ISS, and the "flaming chariots" are the plasma generated from the friction as the probe enters the atmosphere.  The probes are able to function for 36 hours after they touch down before their remote AI loses cohesion, and their job is to find one of the space agency representatives and retrieve the code, hence the Riddle.  The probes have been provided with a genetic sample of each of the last known representatives, and use that to search them out, but snce they are all long gone, they approaching their descendants instead.

These codes were set up much like password protection, with questions like, "What is your favorite Baseball Team", or, "What is your mother's maiden name".  Naturally, these questions mean nothing to those that they are approaching, so a mythology has been built up around them.

Meanwhile, up in the ISS, the AI is going slowly mad.  Something was kicked loose when it broke through the logic dilemma that allowed it to begin it's search, and it is growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of results.  Soon it will have to try and do something else, something... drastic.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

FtA: Leveling mechanics

I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out a way of tying experience to the leveling system in such a way that would provide a logical explanation for the growing levels of radiation in the PCs body, leading up to Level 10, where they expire.  I think I may have found a system that works.

The mutations that exist are as a result of an unstable recessive genetic trait, and each time a power is used, it further destabilizes the genetic makeup of the mutant.  As the mutants' DNA deteriorates, more mutations manifest, until they hit critical mass at Level 10.  My thought is that every time a power is used, a box is checked, and at the end of each session, a roll is made, and the number of checks is subtracted from the roll.  If the roll comes in above a target number, the character advances a level and rolls again on the mutation chart.  This penalty stacks, and gradually the PC becomes weaker and weaker, until they hit Level 10 and expire.

I'm also contemplating figuring a way of making skill usage and high stress situations (like combat) factor in as well.  The goal here is to really drive home the idea that actions matter.  I want the PCs to be thinking about what their characters do, putting those actions in the context of their goals, and making cost/benefit analyses.  How important is this task?  Further, by making combat detrimental to their health even if they win, it should force the PCs to consider all options, viewing violence as a last resort.

I think this should add up to a very different gaming experience, one that keeps the PCs thinking about their actions, rather than looking for things to hit.

Monday, October 10, 2011

FtA: Fungus!

Rasher shook his head and spat on the ground - the whole town would have to go.  Peering through his binoculars, he looked down into the town square.  At first, it looked like a town meeting, with a single figure standing at the center, and a crowd facing him.  It was only if you looked closely that you could see the telltale signs - they were all puffy and fat, far from normal in this part of the world.  The swaying was what gave them away, though.  Silently, they swayed, as if blown by some breeze, back and forth, back and forth. 

Bloaters, definitely.

Suddenly the swaying stopped, and as one, they all turned and looked directly at Rasher.  He felt a tug on his leg and looked down to find that tendrils had climbed halfway to his waist.  He screamed, ordering his men to open fire, and was shocked when they turned their flaming arrows upon him. 

"I'm not infected yet!  I can cut off my..."

His squad cut him down without hesitation.  Grenger, his second in command, bent and picked up the binoculars.  "Come on, men, there's work to be done."

Some time after the fall of civilization, a species of fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, evolved beyond creating zombie ants, and started attacking higher species with more complex brain patterns. As it evolved, so to did its use of those that it infected. 

Driven by a need for propogation, the fungus infects its hosts, and eats away at the soft tissue, giving the victim a distended appearance, and giving rise to the name of the infection, the Bloat.  Rather than driving them to high places, however, they drive them to populated areas, where their bodies expel the spores from the body's orifices.  Most of the time this happens violently, with the pressure even ripping the bodies open in some cases, and infecting all who are near.  Sometimes, though, there is a gradual release, and a host can walk around for days, infecting everyone he breaths on or touches.  The Bloat lives mainly underground, and is a fierce enemy of the Ant Kingdom, who will sacrifice themselves to force the infected away from their colony, and use slaves to burn infected areas of the underground. 

Every once in awhile, though, someone ventures into the wrong cave and brings the Bloat back to town.  Surrounding villages will act swiftly and without mercy to contain an outbreak of the Bloat, and will burn whole swaths of land to prevent it from spreading.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dark Sun

Dark Sun was a post-apocalyptic Dungeons and Dragons world, if there ever was one.  Magic run rampant had destroyed the ecosystem, and those few sentient beings that remained eked out a meager living in desert dunes, hunting for water wherever it could be found.  Dwarves had no beards, elves were thieving con-artists, and halflings were rabid cannibals - this was not your father's D&D.  The magic system was set up brilliantly - you could either be a defiler or a preserver.  Defilers advanced in levels much more quickly, but drew their power from the earth itself, killing all plant life in the surrounding area each time they cast a spell.  Preservers take only as much life from the land as they need to cast the spell, nothing more, and as such take a much slower path to power.

Clerics are very different, as there are no gods in Athas, at least not the type that you'd be used to playing D&D.  The clerics there worship the elements themselves.

The two most precious commodities on Athas were metal and water.  Metal weapons are extremely rare, and most weapons were made of obsidian or bone.  Water is almost impossible to find under the scorching sun, and dehydration checks were a big part of any adventure that took the party outside of city walls.

The cities themselves were ruled by the Dragon Kings, fearsome defilers who had gained so much power that it had twisted and corrupted their bodies.  They had all been the servants of the inventor of magic, Rajaat, and each had overseen the genocide of an entire race.  Each had been awarded a city for their efforts, but turned on Rajaat and imprisoned him.  Each Dragon King is served by Templars, quasi-clerics who receive their magic directly from the beasts they worship.

Rampant slavery, seas made of silt, playable insect races (thri-kreen!), psionic powers everywhere, this was a world where all bets were off.  The 4e revision of Dark Sun was... alright, but if you want it the way it was meant to be, check out the 2e version.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

An Apocalyptic Appendix N, Part 2

Thundarr the Barbarian - This closest we'll probably ever come to a Gamma World cartoon.  The opening shot with the shattered moon, overturned cars and boat jutting out of the water left an indelible mark on my young mind.  The show had some incredible pedigree - it was created by the inimitable Steve Gerber, and comics legend Jack Kirby did production design.  With a striking visual style and beautiful animation, this is one that you cannot miss.  It shows on the Boomerang channel quite a bit, so keep an eye out for it.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - Starring Gil Gerard, this series ran from the end of the 70s into the early 80s.  Developed by Gary Larson, who later went on to create Battlestar Galactica, the show was an update of the classic comic strip from the 1920s.  The original TV pilot/movie was a bit different than the "swashbuckler in space" show it became.  In the pilot, Earth has been destroyed by nuclear war, and the remains of civilization live in insular cities.  Buck Rogers, reawakened after hundreds of years in cryostasis, wanders outside the clean confines of New Chicago into the ruins of the shattered city.  There he is attacked by a band of hideously deformed mutants who live in there.  They chase him through the streets until he gets to a graveyard, where he is saved in the nick of time.  Overall, the movie was better than the show, and this scene had a big part in that.  I wish they had kept that around for the series. 

The Twilight Zone, "Time Enough at Last" -  One of the classic episodes of the wonderful series, this and "A Little Peace and Quiet" stand as my favorites.  Burgess Meredith stars as a man who just wants to have time to read, but is surrounded by anti-intellectuals, from his boss at the bank to his horrible wife.  They mock his love of reading, and make his life miserable.  He goes down to the vault below the bank to read on his lunch break, and is knocked unconscious by what he thinks is an earthquake.  Emerging from the vault, he finds that the world has been devastated by a nuclear war.  Finally he has the time to read.  There is a twist at the end that, if you haven't seen it, is worth the watch.

The Last Man on Earth - I mentioned this in reference to Omega Man, but this is the best of the adaptations of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.  Even though Matheson himself didn't care for it and had his name removed from the credits, it was a stark, unflinching portrayal of the horror that comes from the notion of the world having moved on and left you behind.  The ending was wonderfully bleak, and the black and white footage was an inspiration for George Romero when it came time for him to create the Night of the Living Dead.  It's in the public domain at this point, so it should be easy to find.

Wizards - Written, directed and produced by Ralph Bakshi, this is a cult classic from 1977.  The world is destroyed by a nuclear war started by terrorists, killing most of the human population, and mutating most of what's left.  Elves, faeries and dwarves return from hiding, though, and make a peaceful life for themselves.  The Queen of Faeries gives births to two suns, one good and one evil.  They fight over the kingship when their mother dies, and the evil one, Blackwolf, is driven into the wastelands where he founds an army of mutants.  These mutants are led back to the kingdom, but lose interest and wander off before they can be victorious.  Then Blackwolf finds a secret weapon, propaganda films from Nazi Germany, which inspire his mutant legions, and all bets are off.  Both the art and tone of this film vary widely, and at times it's tough to tell how seriously you're expected to take it, but it's a film that is well worth the time spent, and deserves it's cult favorite status.

Friday, October 7, 2011

FtA: Character Generation, cont'd

I'm settling into the Character Generation system.

There will be four stats, initially.  I may expand, but for right now, there will be Toughness, Agility, Intelligence and Will.  To start, you pick your genotype (Baseline Human, Mutant, Mutated Animal, Mutated Plant).  Each genotype will have associated Starting Stats, which represent the minimum stat levels for that group.

Next, you pick your Path - Sturdy, Quick, Smart or Charismatic.  These represent the way you have lived your life until now, and each modifies your attributes - Smart means you have focused on intellectual pursuits, and gives you a bonus to Intelligence, but a fine to Toughness, for instance.

Then you pick your skills.  Each skill is associated with a certain attribute, and you'll have a number of points with which to buy skill.  You can distribute them as you like, the ranks will be between 1 and 5, and ranks will become more expensive as they progress.  1 rank is 1 point, 2 ranks are 3 points, 3 ranks are 5 points, 4 ranks are 7 points and 5 ranks are 10 points.  Once your skills are distributed, the average of your skills (rounded down), including skills you put no points into, determines the final modifier to your associated attribute.  So if there are 10 skills associated with Toughness, and you have 10 points left, you can put 1 rank into each skill and get a 1 point modifier to your Toughness (10 ranks divided by 10 skills = 1), or you can 5 ranks into one skill, and get no modifier to your attribute (5 ranks divided by 10 skills = .5, rounded down = 0).

Next will be mutations.  Each genotype will have its own set of mutations, and for each there will be two charts - Passive and Active Mutations.  Passive mutations are mutations that just exist - a third arm, for instance.  Active Mutations are those that require you to make a decision to use, and have a chance to succeed.  The number of mutations you have will be determined by a fifth, separate attribute, Abnormality, which is rolled randomly, and determines the number of mutations you have.  For each mutation, you roll percentile dice to see whether it is passive or active, and then roll on the table to determine what it is.  The strength of any Active Mutations is determined by the Mutation Attribute.

Finally, pick equipment and you're done!  There are a few other things that I need to work out, Damage Points, Armor, etc.  These will be derived stats, and based on an Attribute, plus any modifiers granted by skills taken.

The way I'm envisioning it, character creation should not take very long.  I should have a formal writeup within the next week or so, and I'm hoping to test out the system with my guinea pi... er, gaming group in two weeks or so.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All Hail King Torg!

The afore mentioned King Torg (All Hail King Torg!)

So I finally got to play Kobolds Ate My Baby! tonight, and lo it was awesome.  I actually GM'd for the first time in quite awhile, and had a blast.  Every kobold bit it at least once, many in spectacular explosions of chicken feed.  Ark even suffered the most foul death of all - the Death By Monty Python Skit!  A Black Knight riding a fierce rabbit rode through and spanked Schmecky Encephalitis to death after he quoted Monty Python.  Clucky, the chicken/masked vigilante protector of the village struck twice, and there was much barking from all around the table.

Seriously, if you haven't played this game, find a copy and pick it up.  I don't think we stopped laughing all night!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FtA: World Building

It's not enough for me to just design rivals for the PCs, I need to work on building a world for all of these people and societies to inhabit.  Cities, forests, mysterious places that will launch adventures, all of this.  I think I'm going to take the approach of detailing a specific city, or area and examining it exhaustively.  I live in Texas, and lets face it - between the heat and the wildfires it's practically post apocalyptic already.  So I'm thinking the Hill Country, down by San Antonio and Austin.  After a world-shattering event, populations will migrate south, so it makes for a good place that would probably be a central, or at least major, part of the new world.

I envision a world of intelligent armadillos, vicious roving gangs of chinchillas, and cactus people.  Crumbling cities provide shelter in the daytime for the humans, while giant worms tunnel through the earth, occasionally surging to the surface to swallow travelers whole.  Water is the precious commodity, and cities form from nothing when a spring is found, and melt away just as quickly when it dries up.  All the while, something watches with cold, electronic eyes from the ruins of Fort Hood.

Speaking of chinchillas, watch this, you won't regret it:

I may have to find a way to make Chinchilli Day an official part of From the Ashes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FtA: Antagonists vs. Rivals

Rereading some of my earlier posts regarding some of the other beings inhabiting the world of From the Ashes, it struck me that I wasn't setting up antagonists, but rather rivals.  Each of the groups that I have introduced have their own vision for rebuilding the world, and I think that it is important to play that aspect up.  Their purpose in the game is not to antagonize the PCs, at least not in the same way that a party of orcs do.  Rather, they have a competing system of values which they see as the means to the end which is a new, better, stronger, Six Million Dollar Civilization.  The Prophets want to cleanse the earth and prepare the way for True Man's return, the Racists want to reclaim the world for themselves and make things "the way they used to be", the ants want to create an orderly, regimented society.  Even the Plague, in its sad broken way, wants to make things better the best way it knows how.

I think there is value in setting up the game this way - not as creatures to be knocked over so you can plunder their loot, but rivals with hopes and dreams and aspirations of their own, at least collectively.  I'm going to retag those posts now.

FtA: TechnoZombies!

Zoroa and Metiph rolled around in the grassy clearing, giggling as they kissed passionately.  Distracted as they were, they didn't notice the small animal until it was only a few feet away.

Pulling away from Metiph's embrace, Zoroa exclaimed, "Oh, look!  It's a squirrel!"

She reached out her hand, but without warning, the creature leapt forward, biting her on the arm.  With a yelp, she jumped up, and the two of them stomped on it until it stopped twitching. 

Its body was filled with pieces of metal.

Looking up at Zoroa, Metiph backed away, a look of horror in his eyes.  He ran back to the village as fast as he could, and never looked back..  When the hunting party found what was left of Zoroa shambling through the woods several hours later, they beat her with clubs, and buried the remains.

What would a postapocalyptic game be without zombies?  Putting my own spin on them, though, the upshot is that before the Apocalypse, scientists were working with nanobots that would augment humanity, replacing diseased or damaged body parts.  It worked - sort of.  They could teach the nanobots to replicate the form of the body, but not the functions.  So a replaced liver would just be a liver shaped piece of metal.  The project was considered a failure, but a failure with promise, so the nanobots were put away for future study. 

In the years following the End Times, the laboratory where the nanobots were housed suffered structural damage, and the nanobots were released into the wild.  Their time in isolation had warped their programming, turning them into an agressive, self replicating virus.  For hundreds of years since the Plague, as it has come to be known, has bedeviled the recovering world. 

The nanobots are transmitted via fluid exchange, and drive the host to infect others.  Slowly, the creature's organs are transmuted into nonfunctional pieces of metal, until the host loses the ability to function, and collapses.  Without life functions, the nanobots perish themselves, but while the creature is mobile, it is infectious.

There is no cure, and the infected are put down without mercy.  Entire towns have been lost to the Plague, so no chances are taken.

Monday, October 3, 2011

FtA: Character Generation

I was thinking about Character Generation, and I think that I'm going to go down a different path than the games I've played have.  With most games, you choose your abilities, and based on those scores you get a series of derived stats.  Then you pick the skills for your character, which in many cases are assigned scores associated with the ability scores.

I'm thinking of going the other way around.  While there is a certain amount of inherent capability with regards to some of our attributes, alot of it comes down to what you do.  You may be naturally intelligent, but if you spend your life focused on physical pursuits, it won't progress beyond that.  If you spend your life eating cheetos and drinking coke then your natural physical strength will be wasted.

So I'm thinking of a point buy system, but buying skill points, which are divided into their related attribute.  I'll establish a baseline score for each genotype, and then either the average or the aggregate of your skill scores will modify your attributes.  Similarly, as you use those skills, they will increase your ability scores.

Just like in real life, the more you lift weights, the stronger you'll be.

This seems like a novel gaming concept to me, but I'm interested to know if there are any other games that have adopted this approach to attributes?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

FtA: Mutations

So I'm in the process of building the list of mutations.  Besides the obvious ones, any requests, suggestions, etc?

Let me have em!