Preliminary Zvezda Rules

February 12, 2019 by

[ed note: Thor posted this on G+, and it’s been copied over here so it isn’t lost when G+ disintegrates.]

So I like the quiet around here and hope to get this done. Moon Base Zvezda is a historical fantasy where the space race went further and the cold war extends to the moon bases.

In Moon Base Zvesda it is assumed that all characters are fully trained, really smart, AND working for their government whether they know it or not. Hence all characters are made by assigning the numbers 1, 2, and 3 to being an Astronaut, an engineer, and a spy. Each Area of Knowledge gets one of the three numbers.

The resolution system is based on a simple idea. If the task at hand is more fitting of an Astronaut, roll a number of dice equal to the Astronaut area of knowledge. Ditto Engineer and spy. If any die scores higher that the target number you succeed.

For a one shot game I would set the target number at 4 and let the game ride. But if this game is going to have more legs there are a couple ways we could tweek the system.

There are three levers that can make this system more robust/realistic/complicated. The first is adjusting the target numbers, the second is giving some characters benefits through as yet unintroduced stats, and lastly by making the results vary depending on the number of successes.

Varying the difficulty has two benefits. It makes having more dice in an AOK to roll significantly better and it makes people at the table think that the world is more diverse. The down side of varying the difficulty is that it can feel arbitrary and offloads a certain amount of work into the GM.

Adding stat modifiers to the roll based on what your character is like makes the characters more different and makes some challenges more difficult than others. At the moment we do not have any stats but that can be changed.

Changing the number of successes needed greatly disadvantages characters with low AOKs, but I can imagine a version of the game where 1 or 2 successes make the player face hard choices about what they can accomplish. Breaking the door down or doing it quietly. That sort of thing. The GM should talk about these situational things when describing the situation.

I think any of these things can be implemented alone or in tandem. How far we want to go needs to be weighed against the usefulness and the amount of time till we have a completed game.

On top of that we can make the GM figure all of this out on the fly or make it so that we have to imagine all the possibilities.

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Next Projects 2019

February 7, 2019 by

Just about 2 years ago, I posted a “Next Projects” post with some of the things that were in the works.  While I hadn’t planned on a recap, it seems like a good time to review those things, as well as some forward looking for what’s upcoming and in the works.  It’s also an invitation to follow the blog (I’m trying to use my RSS feed reader to follow other folks’ blogs) or to find other ways to stay in touch, especially with the coming end of G+.

Of the things posted before, a few are done; a few others are still in the works to one extent or another; some are available on DriveThruRPG if you want to get a copy for yourself.

Moon Station Zvezda – still on the list, and moved to the top because this summer is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.  So there’s some tie-in interest to be found, potentially.  It’s a fun idea to play with, graphically.

moonbase

The Moonbase map (above) and the Spaceship Dice Drop Table are a couple pieces that show some of the graphic style this may end up having.  The current shorthand description we’re using for it is a Lady Blackbird-style one-shot (though it’s certainly possible to do more in it if you like the setting).  The premise is an alternate-history post-60s space race world with more moon landings and moon presence among the superpowers, and thinking about some of the proposed alternative space programs as having gotten off the drawing boards.

DragonQuest adventures and products.  Gazetteer for the Wilderness of Ordurak, and Small, Untitled DQ Adventure (which became The Sentinel Chapel, and was a featured Deal of the Day earlier this year), are completed and available, as well as the public release of The Wilderness of Ordurak adventure.  Expanded Alusia was another idea, but that is more a back-burner thing at the moment.  But the recent unearthing and release of the DQ World Generation draft text has fired up some thoughts about other DQ projects.  Some of the things missing, but listed in the table of contents from DQ World Generation could be an intriguing followup to Poor Brendan’s Almanac.  And I’m pondering a couple of sequel ideas for the adventures I’ve previously written.

Ogunimata Cyberpunk adventure also prompted some map work, but is moving slowly.

Piranesi City Dungeon.  Also back-burnered at the moment.

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon is on the sixth iteration right now, although it has bogged down somewhat with the collapse of G+.  We need to find the best place to continue the discussion, and we’ll probably set up a separate hosting for it somewhere, as well.  Copies of completed previous ones are in the archives of the blog, here.

More maps, in general. This is still more hit-or-miss (and more often a miss) than I would like, but I keep posting the occasional thing from time to time.  With the resurgence of The Fantasy Trip, I think I’m going to try to do a few more hex-based maps.  I’ve had a couple I’ve done in the past that I’ve liked how they turned out, and it’s useful for both DQ and TFT.


Other new things:

Elfgame (placeholder name) – it’s just a germ of a game idea, but I think it has potential.  This would be an RPG where the world is inhabited by both humans and elves, and adventures deal with the intersections between the two.  Elves live (effectively) forever, so they are the constant in the game.  Humans’ lives are comparatively short, so any humans for an adventure are one-shot characters, and the next game session will take place in their grandchildrens’ time, or even further into the future.  Folklore and Shakespearean influences are the flavor this will aim to evoke.

Dark Days – a fantasy game aimed at a more Fafhrd/Grey Mouser kind of feel.  A recent post from Beloch Shrike aka Link Skywalker at Papers & Pencils titled “Magic Words Suck. Here’s Magic in the Moment.” seems like a good starting point for one branch of the magic system with the right kind of literary feel that this game calls for.

Links and resources – especially with the G+ wind-down, there are other scattered communities where people are landing, but having a blog or a site that is a good resource for people is a good way to engage and connect.  I want to start regularly tagging other blogs or sites that I’m trying to follow more often to stay in touch with gaming folks.  Some of it is going to be more linking and encouraging you (if you’ve read this far, you might give some consideration to my recommendation) to go check out some of these sites.  Maybe you’re also a kindred spirit, and you forge a new connection, too.

I also want to start building a directory of dungeon mappers as a general resource.  I can start right off the bat with a couple dozen folks who have participated in the Exquisite Corpse Dungeons.  This idea is inspired by a more general cartographers index someone (I now forget who or where) had put together.  I’ve done other things with the ECDs to bring dungeon mappers together, and so it’s not completely out of line for me to put together something like that.


That’s a comparatively lengthy post from me.  If there are things in here that intrigue you, I’m very interested in your feedback and comments.

A Correspondent Dungeon

February 7, 2019 by

Here’s a quick and dirty test of concept map. Haven’t posted any new maps in quite a while, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped making or thinking about them. Feels good to be doing this again.

I think the method used to create this map is fairly obvious; I think it probably needs more work to come up with a more practically useful result, but it works well enough as is to be worth sharing.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

DQ World Generation

February 2, 2019 by
[EDIT: First link is now direct to file. But I encourage you to check out Phil’s article, as well.]

A draft copy of the World Generation supplement for DragonQuest (direct link) has been located and is now available.  If you had bet that you’d be getting a copy of previously unseen DragonQuest materials for the first time in 2019, collect your winnings at the door.  The rest of us are just going to enjoy having a chance to look this over.

WGcontent

Enormous thanks to Phil Wright, who had gotten a copy of it many years back (you can read his story on his site where he has the PDF) and who is hosting and sharing it:

https://dqmusings.blogspot.com/2019/02/the-unreleased-world-generation.html

Some parts from this index are missing in the final draft, but the pages have been OCRed and cleaned up, and it’s quite a manuscript.

Thanks, also, to Steve Jackson, the original author of the work, for allowing it to be shared publicly at this point.

I’ll have more to say about this once I’ve read the whole thing.

[I had a chance to start looking at this before Phil got his link up, so this began as an article saying it was coming soon, but I just got work from him that it’s now posted, so go download a copy and check it out yourself!]

A Text Description Exquisite Corpse Dungeon

January 6, 2019 by

During (and after) these Exquisite Corpse dungeons, people have asked about providing descriptions for the rooms.  There were different suggestions about how to add descriptions to the maps, but nothing  really seemed to fit.  So the Exquisite Corpse dungeons we’ve been mapping have just been graphical.

But those who have wanted to find descriptions for the dungeons should check out the “Tomb of the Exquisite Corpse” collaborative dungeon project being run by Kyle Latino.  It is a project to develop room descriptions and wandering monster descriptions for an eventual freely available document.

The “Tomb of the Exquisite Corpse” is a more modular project, and doesn’t have hooks or hints from one contributor’s piece to the next, like the shared connections from one section of the map to the next contributor.  But it is keeping most of the content hidden until the final reveal of the whole project.

It seems like a really intriguing complement to the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon maps, and anyone who is a fan of one should check out (and even consider participating in) the other.

Link: “Tomb of the Exquisite Corpse: A Collaborative Dungeon Project

A Banner Ad

January 5, 2019 by

ahg banner ad

I rather like this banner ad we’ve cooked up for DriveThruRPG.  We’ve accumulated a bit of capital with them to be able to run some ads, so we’ll see if more people find our collection with this.

Of course, I’m not the intended audience for this.  So this would be something where your feedback about this (whether or not you’re a likely buyer for any Antherwyck House Games titles) would be helpful.

Post- Deal of the Day Thoughts

January 3, 2019 by

Thanks to the folks who picked up a copy of “The Sentinel Chapel” as yesterday’s Deal of the Day at DriveThruRPG. It was good to get a few sales, and now it’s in the hands of a wider range of folks. Hopefully, a couple of them will give some feedback, and then, maybe, we’ll work on putting out a sequel to it (?)

No promises there, but it’s in the back of my mind.

I’m surprised at the uptake from Fantasy Trip (TFT) players, and I only started re-discovering the close connections between DQ and TFT over the break, when I put together the conversion page. But, with the recent new activity for TFT, this might be a useful synergy.

“Sentinel Chapel” Deal of the Day

January 1, 2019 by

We just got the word that “The Sentinel Chapel” adventure will be the Deal of the Day at DriveThruRPG on January 2 (starting around 11am EST; 10am CST; … Later in the day for European friends.) PDF version will be on sale for $2.97

#DragonQuest #TFT #FantasyTrip #OSR

https://www.drivethrurpg.com?affiliate_id=313167

Late in the year, as the harvest season is closing, and towns and villages are preparing for the coming winter, word has reached the group that someone is looking for a small band of adventurers for a dangerous, but well-paying task. They are to travel into the Fealhoa Valley, a region that has been deadly dangerous for the past 30 years, when it became overrun with monsters and undead creatures. A village called Cambray, several days’ travel into the Fealhoa Valley has been cut off, and no one has been in contact with that community for many years.

The adventurers are to travel to the site of a chapel located about a day’s travel from the town of Cambray and recover the silver letters on the family graves of a group of silversmiths who were originally from Cambray, and whose remaining family members now live in exile.

tactical Capture

Mixing DragonQuest and The Fantasy Trip

December 22, 2018 by

The most recent Antherwyck House Games adventure, “The Sentinel Chapel,” was written with DragonQuest rules.  But it seemed that it should be easy to convert it for use with other systems.  And now we’ve done just that with conversion notes to use the adventure with Metagaming’s (and now Steve Jackson Games) The Fantasy Trip.  The PDF is now included with the adventure files from DriveThruRPG, and can also be directly downloaded here.

TFT shares a lot with DQ.  Both are based on tactical, single-figure combat rules systems (Arena of Death from SPI, which became the DQ combat system, and the Melee Microgame, which is the TFT combat system). Both are hex-based, as well, and close enough in scale (5 foot hexes for DQ; 1.33 meter hexes for TFT, which are about 4.4 feet, so close enough for interoperability).

Beyond the functional similarities between systems, they are both systems that maintain the relative fragility of human beings.  Unlike heroic RPG systems (D&D et al) where characters level up to absurd levels of power and durability, a starting character is not that much different than an experienced one in either DQ or TFT.  And a seasoned hero can still be felled by a single well-placed blade (unlike characters who need to go through rounds and rounds of hit point attrition to wear them down).

There is also no hierarchy of classes to restrict what any players’ character can or cannot do.  There are instead, lots of talents or skills that any character can obtain, allowing for a much more interesting and unique set of abilities for any individual character to have.

I probably never really dived into the potential cross connections between the two systems, despite the fact that I played in campaigns of both as some of the earliest RPG games I was in decades ago.  Both DQ and TFT are comparatively orphan games, but with TFT making a comeback now that Steve Jackson Games has re-acquired the rights to the game, maybe things will get interesting in the coming year.

Please get in touch if you’re also a TFT player.  Having now dug out my copies of Melee, Wizard, and In the Labyrinth to work on this conversion, I’m really interested in exploring this further, and in getting feedback about this from other, more experienced TFT players.

And, if you’d like to see us issue conversions of our adventures for other game systems, let us know what you would like to see.

Marley’s Scrooge Case

December 16, 2018 by

Another local game designer has a Christmas-themed one-shot called “A Christmas One Shot: Marley’s Scrooge Case”  I haven’t played it, yet; hoping to do that in the next week or two.  It’s a $3.00 or PWYW PDF at DriveThru, and I’m trying to drive a bit more traffic his way.

 

 

 

 

Cyberpunk Adventure Draft Map

November 24, 2018 by

Sharing a work in progress here after I spent some holiday time working on a clean, digital version of the map for the Ogunimata Cyberpunk adventure.  This is turning out a lot better than I expected for what I thought would just be some rough experimentation.

It’s taken a whole lot longer than I had expected to take to get back to working on this.  Some other DragonQuest stuff took priority (and those are available at DriveThruRPG now, if you’re interested in them).

We had contemplated commissioning some art to put the whole thing together into a finished form, but there wasn’t that much interest in a Cyberpunk adventure when I posted about it earlier.  So, we’ll find some other ways of getting images to use in this.

Even if there’s not as much interior art as we had first hoped to have, there will be a pretty cool map for it.

Wilderness of Ordurak Players’ Map

November 18, 2018 by


This should have been included from the outset, really.  Since the adventure in the Wilderness of Ordurak is dealing with an unknown wilderness region, the players should have a map with only limited information on it.

So, this is a map that GMs can give their players that shows them the known lands in the eastern part of the map, and only the limited information about the region of Auskenheim and the road from Calogero.  A few names remain on the map for things that are known to be out there, so there’s a general sense of where they are, but not a clear indication on the map.

It’s also another chance to show off the work that Stephen Peto did on making such an SPI-like map.  Even if you aren’t interested in the DragonQuest adventure, the Map and Gazetteer are a really great setting that could be used with any fantasy campaign.

This map is now included in the bundle from DriveThru.  If you didn’t get notification already, drop us a line and we will get that sent to you right away.

DragonQuest Adventures Published

November 15, 2018 by

Electronic versions (PDF) of two DragonQuest adventures, as well the Gazetteer and map (the setting for the Wilderness adventure), are now available on DriveThruRPG:


The Wilderness of Ordurak adventure bundle includes the adventure book, map, and a gazetteer book with more information about the region. If you are interested in the print version of these, please let us know. Because DriveThru requires separate orders for books and for cards (and the map is considered as a card because of their production methods), it will probably be easier for us to assemble bundles with the adventure book and the map, so that you don’t have to make two orders and pay for double shipping.

 

A group of adventurers is sought to aid in unraveling a mystery set in an untamed land. The Barony of Auskenheim is the most recent addition to the Confederation of Baronies, on the frontier where wild magic is more prevalent, and life is more dangerous, than in more civilized lands.

A quasi-sandbox setting for a group of 4 to 6 Adventurer level characters. The Wilderness of Ordurak is a fantasy role-playing adventure scenario designed for 4 to 6 Adventurer-level characters for use with DragonQuest (and other fantasy role-playing games).

 


The PDF version of The Sentinel Chapel is also available now. It is also in process with print approval, and should be available in a few days.

 

The Sentinel Chapel is a DragonQuest adventure for 3-6 adventurer-level characters.

Late in the year, as the harvest season is closing, and towns and villages are preparing for the coming winter, word has reached the group that someone is looking for a small band of adventurers for a dangerous, but well-paying task. They are to travel into the Fealhoa Valley, a region that has been deadly dangerous for the past 30 years, when it became overrun with monsters and undead creatures. A village called Cambray, several days’ travel into the Fealhoa Valley has been cut off, and no one has been in contact with that community for many years.

The adventurers are to travel to the site of a chapel located about a day’s travel from the town of Cambray and recover the silver letters on the family graves of a group of silversmiths who were originally from Cambray, and whose remaining family members now live in exile.

Although this adventure has been designed and written for the DragonQuest role-playing game, it can be easily translated for use with other game systems. The GM will need to make the necessary interpolations beforehand in order to do this.


Also, if you are interested in a bundle deal on all three Antherwyck House DQ adventures (also including The Water Works, either print or PDF), let us know about that too.

You can email us at DQ [at] antherwyck [dot] com

New DragonQuest Adventures

November 13, 2018 by

There is big news at long last from Antherwyck House Games. We have not one, but two adventures for DragonQuest that are going to be available from DriveThruRPG later this week.

It’s been more than two years since “The Wilderness of Ordurak” adventure was completed and delivered to the crowdfunding backers who supported that adventure.  And, in keeping with the terms of that project, they’ve had exclusive access to it since then.  But now, we’re opening it up and making it available to everyone.

Along with that, we also have a smaller capsule adventure we are also releasing called “The Sentinel Chapel.”

Both “The Wilderness of Ordurak” and “The Sentinel Chapel” will be immediately available as PDFs. “Wilderness” will also be available in print form, along with a mini poster version of the regional map, and “Sentinel” is in the proofing process and should be available in print form in a week or two, depending on OBS turnaround time.

“The Wilderness of Ordurak” features illustrations by Nate Marcel, The adventure also has a map by Stephen Peto that is an extremely faithful match of the house style of SPI’s maps, and particularly, the “Frontiers of Alusia” map.  “The Sentinel Chapel” includes a map by Eneko Menica which was the inspiration for the adventure.  Both adventures were written and produced by Rodger Thorm.

cut Wilderness pieceThe next thing to come along (hopefully by the end of the year) will be a Gazetteer for the Wilderness of Ordurak map that provides more background on the region in a similar fashion to the “Frontiers of Alusia.”  The print version of the “Wilderness” map is a 12″ x 18″ mini poster.  Those who like the setting presented in the “Wilderness” adventure will have more information for further adventures set in this region.  And, as was the case with the original “Frontiers,” this will be usable with any game system fairly readily.

Anyone who buys a copy of “The Wilderness of Ordurak” during this launch will also get a free copy of the Gazetteer PDF once it is completed and available.  (Buyers of the print version will be able to get a discount on the print version of the Gazetteer, as well.)

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 6 – Participants List

November 11, 2018 by

Here is the current list of participants for the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 6

This will be edited and updated periodically to maintain the roster of interested parties and completed sections for the dungeon.  If you’re interested in joining in and you aren’t on the list, drop me a line.  Latest update: 12/08/2018

Patrick Usher
* Jess Gulbranson
* Andrew Durston
* Dyson Logos
Marc Majcher
* Scott Aleric
Dave Millar
Bannister Nicholas
* J Zoshak
Shawn Sauerwine
Lucien Stals

* completed section submitted

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 6 – A Waterway Ooozes Through It

November 2, 2018 by

Call for Entries

The theme for this version of the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon will be ‘water.’ But, since it’s a dungeon (and an Exquisite Corpse, at that), rather than mirroring the name of the book and the movie, a couple words have been changed to better reflect the underground delving nature of the project. So, “A Waterway Ooozes Through It”

For the theme, there needs to be a water element in each dungeon section. The water does NOT have to connect to the next dungeon section, although it is probable that in most instances it will do so. As long as there is an element of some kind of liquid that is flowing through the section, it meets that requirement.

To participate, you just need to express interest and be willing and able to draw your section within a few days once it’s handed off to you.

There will be general discussion going on in various social media, but, as before, the G+ group will be the official home for any discussion and coordination.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/108245358165736516269

Discussion on other sites (MeWe, Pluspora, reddit, Cake, etc) is encouraged; part of this is meant to let us figure out a new site to migrate to for future contact, so a broad discussion is good. But realize not everyone will see all of it (I’m only on two of those four listed alternatives, for example), and G+ will be the official nexus.

New participants who haven’t been in a previous Exquisite Corpse Dungeon need to email me at rodger (at) antherwyck.com to join in. Past participants can just drop me a note on whatever platform we’re connected on. But be sure I’ve responded. (Notes on FB will probably not be seen until 2019, so I don’t recommend that) You can also email me.

File exchange will take place via email. Google likes to resize and reformat images, and it has been difficult at times to get a proper image at the right size to share with the next participant.  So we won’t thrash with that needlessly, and we’ll go with what works.

This will be formatted and sized the same as the ECD2 so each participant will be doing a 30 x 12 section.

Technical details:
Map area is 30 x 12 squares (at 4 squares/inch), so 7-1/2″ x 3″
Scan at 300 dpi
If grid is not included in the final art, clearly identify where openings are so next person can make reasonable connections. If the final scan is oversized, provide clear crop marks.
Sections may be created in any media, hand drawn or computer. However, any final compilation is likely to only be black and white, so color information may be lost in some completed versions of the whole project.

April TTRPG Maker replies

May 7, 2018 by
I don’t have an essay for each of the questions, but for the #AprilTTRPGMaker questionnaire, I answered most of the questions for this hashtag.  
1. I’m Rodger Thorm – a pseudonymous identity for my RPG-related activities online. My RPG work is a side-line for me, which is why I use a pseudonym for the gaming stuff.
2. I’m in south-east Michigan, United States.
3. First came up with a set of house-rules, expansion for my DragonQuest campaign. Then started following sites like 20×20 Room and the like in the early 2000s. More recently, I’ve been most active on G+
4. Much of my work, particularly the commercial projects, has been for the SPI DragonQuest RPG. My group were early adopters (with a campaign that ran from 1981 through the mid 90s, and other iterations more sporadically since).
Also, I have done a bunch of map making and graphics. I do my own dungeon maps, and I’m interested in unusual kinds of maps and graphics, so I do experimental kinds of things from time to time. I also organized the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon project series.
5. As above, I’m a longtime fan of DragonQuest. At the time it came out, there were a lot of innovative elements that were very appealing, and we really took to it.
6. I haven’t played it in person to see how it actually works out, but, ever since I learned of it, I’m intrigued by the ‘Swordbearer’ rule for encumbrance that you can carry “10 things” at most.
7. Mostly, my workspace is wherever my computer is; it floats around as needed.
8. Routine? Ha!
9. Process? Double Ha!
10. Most recently, I really have enjoyed playing the board game Tokaido.
11. Antherwyck House Games: (antherwyck.com)
12. Antherwyck House is on DriveThru/RPGNow. I’ve run one crowdsourced project, but it’s mostly zero-time, zero-budget, and hope the right people happen to notice.
13. —
14. As with half of everyone else who loved DQ before SPI croaked, I’ve thought about a re-release of the DQ rules.
15. Would like to work more openly and iteratively, to get early feedback on direction and see what people are excited by.
16. Thor Hansen is a frequent collaborator. We have several “in-the-pipeline” projects we’ve spent time working at, and trying to get some of them pushed through to completion. Donn Stroud is working with us on a Fafhrd/Grey Mouser-inspired game. Stephen Peto is a fantastic designer who is able to channel the style of SPI’s maps nearly perfectly.
17. Love to hear about how people are using things that I’ve been a part of.
18. Elves and humans. A little bit Shakespeare, a little bit myth, a little bit Tolkien. Trying to come up with a game that deals with the different lives of two communities with different needs and different timeframes.
19. DragonQuest is the obvious answer.
20. Pen and paper; CAD; GIMP
21. Not enough, sad to say.
22. Notes and lists. Scribble down a few words that are meaningful, and then expand on it later.
23. The aforementioned collaborators, as well as everyone who has been willing to participate in the Exquisite Corpse projects.
24. Probably the biggest thing I’ve done has been organizing the Exquisite Corpse Dungeons, where a bunch of map-makers have collaborated to make some really great dungeons (and a city map, and currently working on an overland map). We did a print run of the first one for Mythoard, and I sell prints of a couple of them direct through the Antherwyck House Games site for folks who want a hardcopy.
25. —
26. At present, I blog at rthorm.wordpress.com, and I have a very underused Twitter @Antherwyck
27. —
28. I have two RPG podcasts I try to follow regularly: Drink Spin Run with Adam Muszkiewicz and Donn Stroud; and RPG Panelcast from Jason Pitre.
29. There is a very old DQ community on Yahoo Groups, spread across about 4 interlinked groups. Trying to build more of a DQ community on G+
30. Keep pushing, even if you’ve missed the deadline.  Keep going.  Persist.

Planetary Logbook

April 22, 2018 by

Some of you may be familiar with the Planetary Display Form, which has generally been the most popular item of mine on DriveThruRPG. Briefly, it is a one-page layout for mapping a planet’s surface on a flattened truncated icosahedron, the same geometric form used for soccer balls and geodesic domes. It has lines that approximately correspond to longitude and latitude, the same way that the overall figure approximately corresponds to a sphere. It seemed like a very cool thing from the outset, and I’m glad that a number of people have found it useful, as well.

Sample Planetary Display Logbook Page

Sample Planetary Display Logbook Page

But the 8-1/2″ x 11″ format always seemed a bit limited for something as extensive as a planet. So, I’ve had a couple ideas about how to have other options available. One idea is a poster-size print (maybe 24″x36″), and another is a log book that could be filled out to detail an entire planet.

The poster-size version would have to be sold and shipped directly from Antherwyck House Games, since OBS doesn’t have a capacity for producing anything of that size. It would be fairly easy, with our current printing access, to print these at that size, but they would need to be folded for economical shipping, or else we could roll them in mailing tubes, which should be more protective, but would also be more expensive for shipping.

But perhaps more usefully, we have a journal survey book in the works using the same elements.  This could allow for larger map size for each area. Each of the 32 sections (12 pentagons and 20 hexagons that make up the whole buckyball globe) has an individual page, and there will also be a copy of the overall planetary display form. So, this will probably be a 40-ish page book that should sell for about $5 from the OBS store (DriveThruRPG/RPG Now).

Once the logbook is available, we can then also offer custom covers for these. The interior pages will be same as the standard, but the cover would be customized for your individual campaign. This way, if you want to have eight planetary journals for a campaign, and you want to put together a series of planetbooks with your campaign’s Interstellar Travel Association Guides cover, we can create a custom cover for you, and then give you a custom version that you can get printed from OBS. (If you want each individual planet book to have its own cover, that would be another thing. The customization I’m thinking of is a standard cover for your all the logbooks in your game’s Star Service.) There would be a one-time fee to work out the custom cover (thinking $60 for the first one, and see if I need to bump it up or not), but then for printing, those will be priced pretty much at cost, so you can order copies as you need for less than the standard version.

It would also be fairly easy to put together an atlas version of the logbook, with spaces for several planets within a single book. If anyone is interested in that format, contact me directly. Right now, that’s not on my do-do list.

Open DQ Sections and Contents

March 4, 2018 by

This is the draft organization index and preliminary table of contents from the old Open DQ project.

Rules Categories

0    - License and Credits
1    - Introduction, How to Play the Game, Game Terms
2    - Characters and Character Generation
3    - Combat
4    - Magic
5    - Skills
6    - Monsters
7    - World and Adventure

Parenthetical numbers in the Table of Contents indicate the corresponding rule number in the SPI Second Edition version of the rules; AW = rules from Arcane Wisdom; PBA = rules from Poor Brendan’s Almanac. Note that the new numbering provided here is a draft version and is subject to further change and renumbering.

Subsection 100 of each rule section should be set aside for introduction, terminology, description, etc. x-100 should be section contents. x-120 should be term definitions.

Subsection 200 of each rule section should be the primary rules for the section.

Subsection 500 of each rule section should be specialty rules for the section (specific skills, magic colleges, etc).

Subsection 800 of each rule section should be secondary or optional rules for the section.

This is a preliminary draft and subject to almost certain revision.

Table of Contents

0    - License and Credits
0-100 License
1    - Introduction, How to Play the Game, Game Terms
1-100 
1-110 Introduction
1-120 Game Terms
1-200 How to Play the Game
1-220 General Course of Events (1)
1-250 Requirements for Play (2)
2    - Characters and Character Generation
2-120 Description of Characteristics (3)
2-200 Effects of Characteristics (4)
2-300 Characteristic Generation (5)
2-400 Character Background
2-420 Birthrights (6)
2-450 Aspects (7)
2-470 Heritage (8)
2-500 Creating Experienced Characters
2-550 NPCs
2-600 Character Maintenance
2-620 Recuperation and Upkeep (85)
2-650 Fatigue Loss and Recovery (82)
2-700 Experience 
2-710 How Experience Is Gained (86)
2-750 How Experience Is Used (87)
3    - Combat
3-120 Combat Terminology (9)
3-130 Combat Equipment (10)
3-150 Preparation for Combat (11)
3-200 Combat Sequence (12)
3-220 Actions of Engaged Figures (13)
3-250 Actions of Non Engaged Figures (14)
3-280 Action Choice Restrictions (15)
3-300 Attacking (16)
3-330 Resolving Attempted Attacks (17)
3-350 Damage (18)
3-360 The Effects of Damage (19)
3-370 Fire
3-380 Infection (24)
3-400 Unarmed Combat (21)
3-430 Natural Weapons
3-450 Martial Arts
3-500 Weapons List (20)
3-600 Multi-Hex Creatures (22)
3-700 Special Combat
3-710 Mounted Combat (23)
4    - Magic
4-120 Definition of Magical Terms (25)
4-130 How Magic Works (26)
4-150 The Colleges of Magic (34)
4-180 Magic Conventions (35)
4-200 How to Cast Spells (27)
4-205 Quickcasting (PBA-106
4-220 Restrictions on Magic (29)
4-250 Counterspells and Resisting Spells (31)
4-300 Incorporating Magic into Combat (33)
4-330 The Effects of Spells (28)
4-370 Backfire from Spells and Rituals (30)
4-400 Universal Magical Abilities
4-420 Special Magical Preparations (32)
4-430 Ritual of Planar Travel (PBA-109
4-440 Consequences (84)
4-480 Cantrips (PBA-108
4-500 Thaumaturgies
4-510 The College of Ensorcelments and Enchantments (36)
4-520 The College of Sorceries of the Mind (37)
4-530 The College of Illusions (38)
4-540 The College of Naming Incantations (39)
4-550 The College of Shaping Magics (AW-91
4-600 Elementals
4-610 The College of Air Magics (40)
4-620 The College of Water Magics (41)
4-630 The College of Fire Magics (42)
4-640 The College of Earth Magics (43)
4-650 The College of Celestial Magics (44)
4-660 College of Time Magics (PBA-110
4-700 Entities
4-710 The College of Necromantic Conjurations (45)
4-720 The College of Black Magics (46)
4-730 The College of Greater Summonings (47)
4-740 The College of Lesser Summonings (AW-89
4-750 The College of Rune Magics (AW-90
4-760 College of Witchcraft (PBA-109
5    - Skills
5-250 Acquiring and Using Skills (48)
5-300 Languages (49)
5-400 Adventure Abilities
5-420 Horesemanship
5-460 Swimming
5-470 Stealth
5-500 Alchemist (50)
5-510 Assassin (51)
5-520 Astrologer (52)
5-530 Beast Master (53)
5-540 Courtesan (54)
5-545 Diplomat (PBA-112
5-550 Healer (55)
5-555 Herbalist (PBA-113
5-557 Hunter (PBA-114
5-560 Mechanician (56)
5-570 Merchant (57)
5-580 Military Scientist (58)
5-590 Navigator (59)
5-600 Ranger (60)
5-610 Spy and 
5-620 Thief (61)
5-630 Troubadour (62)
5-800 Minor Skills (PBA-111
6    - Monsters
7    - World and Adventure
7-180 Game Conventions (78)
7-200 The Adventure Sequence (80)
7-220 Preparation for Adventure (77)
7-230 Organizing a Party (79)
7-300 Adventure Actions (83)
7-400 Monetary Matters (81)
7-420 Extended Merchant Tables (PBA-122
7-430 Horse Trading (PBA-121
7-440 Alchemical and Herbal Shopkeeping (PBA-116
7-470 Building Costs (PBA-118
7-480 Peasants and Labor (PBA-119
7-485 Farming (PBA-120
7-600 Guide to Magical Rocks, Stones and Gems (AW-93
7-650 Guide to Herbal Lore (AW-94

The Open DQ That Is Already Done

March 3, 2018 by

There’s a significant followup to my recent thoughts about an open source DragonQuest that needs to be pointed out.

The Seagate Adventurer’s Guild is the largest group of DragonQuest players, with a long-running, interlocked campaign with multiple GMs.  And they’ve been playing for over 30 years.  I had known that they had a draft set of rules incorporating their house rules, but it’s been a few years since I checked in on their site.  I had known about this version several years ago, but they had asked to have it pulled from the Yahoo DQ group files.  Than, Mike Davey reminded me about them in response to my last post, so I went and checked out their version of the DragonQuest rules.

In a word, wow!

Frankly, they’ve already done much of the work I was talking about.  It’s a complete document; almost 150 pages.  The Seagate rules are “copylefted under the GNU Public License, version 2.0,” so this is already an open-source version of the DQ rules.

These rules aren’t a straight one-to-one corresponding set.  There are some sections that are not included, like any creatures, or the lists of Greater Summoning demons.  And there are also many new additions, including several new Skills and new Colleges of Magic.  Elements are reorganized, though there’s a generally similar order of character creation, combat, magic, and skills.  All in all, I think a DQ player or GM could pick it up and start using it fairly readily.

This really changes the scope of next steps.  What I had originally planned, once there was a base draft in place, was a reorganization of the rules to allow for revisions and substitutions.  The numbering system of the DQ rules doesn’t work well if you want to add a new Skill or a new College; there are no open spaces.  But if the rule numbering was more like a library card-catalog system, then it would be easy to keep all the related stuff organized together in the same section.  All the character-related stuff could be section 100, combat section 200, and so on and so forth.

Link: Seagate DQ Rules Edition 2.0.1