Monthly Archives: March 2012

RPG Project

Post-Apocalyptic World

Something like this would be a Post-Apocalyptic survivor junky's wet dream...

I’ve got the general makings for a pseudo-Post-Apocalyptic RPG setting running around in my head and I haven’t decided what to do with it yet (including whether I should scrap it or not).

The basic idea is a serious world, as most PA tabletop RPGs are a bit tongue-in-cheek, and that’s about it. Other than that I’m still torn between quite a few options, some of which I am going to lay out here.

Setting – The setting of an RPG can sometimes be the most important thing. Most Post-Apocalyptic worlds or either Realistic, Horror, or Sci-Fi. But there are many other options as well – High Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Western, Victorian-era, even Steampunk (haha no). So what time of world would I want to play in? Idealistically the game that comes out of this project would be adaptable to whatever setting the players want. If the rules allow for slight variation or customization, then you can transplant them from Horror straight into a Victorina-era Post-Apocalypse complete with vampires (or some such nonsense). So my thoughts are to design for a vaguely Realistic, maybe Low Fantasy-style world, but with complete adaptability.

Rules – Ah the rules. If the setting is the flesh of a game, the Rules are the bones of it. For creation testing, I will probably keep this in a D20 rule setting. Everyone I know that might be interested in playtesting knows it already, it’s easy to adapt, and most importantly I know it like the back of my hand… Wait, where’d that scar come from? Anyway. Ultimately I’d like to adapt whatever rule set that I use to come similar enough to feel comfortable to the players, but unique enough that… um… it’s unique.

Characters (Classes and Races) – Ah yes… to continue the terrible analogy, if setting is the flesh and rules are the bones, the characters are the blood of a game – the life force. Every game as characters, that’s the point. So what do I do with the character options? Well in part that depends on the setting. If this is a High, or even Low Fantasy setting, could players pick Elves and Dwarves for their classes? Ehhhh… yes. But what about Victorian, Horror, Western, etc.? What are the options there, just Human? Ideally, I would like to create a… rough outline of races based more on location. Think Midnight or Elder Scrolls: Oblivion/Skyrim for those more familiar with video games. The Northerners are a tall, stocky group with these natural skill sets… while Southerners are lithe and agile with these natural skills… That sort of thing. And if those goes well, addendum rules for Fantasy races are always an option. But at that point shouldn’t you just go play Eberron?

Finally, we come to the most important aspect… what makes a game Post-Apocalyptic? Well, that’s actually quite easy (to me).

Any PA-style game must have four basic elements to it, other than a ruined landscape (which, honestly, it doesn’t have to have).

  • A feeling of survival.
  • You must scavenge to survive.
  • Scavenging includes finding items to repair or replace current equipment… and health (you can’t just go to a shop and buy a new gun or some penicillin).
  • And a feeling of fear.

These may be the most important points for me in this game. If I capture those perfectly (or at least well) then I will be happy.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions or comments, feel free to leave them.

~Ian


A poll! A poll!

She turned me into a newt…

Wait… no. Not that again.

In all seriousness, I believe strongly in giving the people what they want. Or a good hard kick in the face. But that’s what I want to give them… sorry, I digress.

I figure that many of you have favorite posts here on the site, and that by getting a little feedback I can not only make the site more enjoyable for you… but also make it easier for me to find something to babble about. So… a poll. Please answer truthfully, or hordes of slathering beasts from the bowels of Warren Ellis will devour your skin.


Hello, again

*blink, blink* AH!!!! The sunlight… it burns the retinas.

But seriously, “what the hell!?” you might be thinking. I’d be thinking it too. Too be fair, I did complete Nano, so I did a lot of writing… I’m also working AS a writer. So I spend 90% of my day typing away… I generally don’t want to come home and do more of it.

The problem is that I have to in order to complete personal projects… right?

Right. So we come full circle, returning to, well, here. I’ve always been a prolific writer… just not steady prolific. I go frequent stints without outputting anything, then in a flurry of activity do too much, and burn out the creative synapses. I hear that it’s a common issue, actually… with many creative types. Only when you rely on that creativity for profit, it’s generally a bad idea, no? So to work around that we practice moderation.

Moderation in all things.

Some of you may know, and many may not know, that I’m a Buddhist. More in nature than in practice. I do believe in 98.7% of the tenets of Buddhism, from Enlightenment to moderation. I also don’t give a rat’s ass about the organized “sit here and recite koans till your mouth bleeds and your hands have become fused into a claw-like shape. Fuck that nonsense. There’s a certain level of… un-authenticity behind anyone who says that I can’t reach enlightenment without zazen practice 4 times a day. To you I say “And?”

Brad Warner, of punk rock fame and Zen obscurity… wait… strike that, reverse it… recently made a bit of a kerfuffle in this area. What is authenticity, and who decides what is authentic, and what is wrong? Without going into detail, because Master Warner (is that right… Priest? Awesome-dude-who-does-the-meditation-thing? Meh…) says it better than I would anyway, plus you should visit his site, I think he’s dead on here. I think that there’s a bit too much focus on who the person is, and not what they do. Who cares if I think The Beatles are overrated? Which I do (their early stuff anyway). Yes, it’s been some of the most influential music ever made… but that doesn’t mean it’s good.

My point is that there’s not enough moderation in thought and action going around these days… so I should make an extra effort to bring more into my own life.

So… the goal here is to steadily post again… also finish a few projects that I’ve been sitting on for far too long. From The Cult of Done manifesto… I should abandon those… but again, all things in moderation – I agree with some of the points of The Cult of Done, not all of it.

So look forward to seeing new and interesting things here in the near future… and scream at me if you don’t.

~Ian