Friday, 12 February 2021

Random Musings On My Games

 

Some random musings about my games - accompanied by an even more random photo of the stuff on one half of the top of my office bookcase!

Stargrave - I meant to write a blog this week about the different backgrounds you could give to your captain and first-mate, but I didn't get around to it. Here's the list that appears in the rulebook: Biomorph, Cyborg, Mystic, Robotics Expert, Rogue, Psionicist, Tekker, and Veteran. Each one of these comes with specific stat boosts and a list of 'core powers'.  Captains and first-mates can, but are not required, to have the same backgrounds. I'm planning on creating new backgrounds in the supplements.

Rangers of Shadow Deep - I finished my first draft of Dungeons Dark this week. Despite only having 4.5 scenarios, it's the longest supplement I've written because each of the scenarios is broken down into numerous rooms and there are loads of notes! Still a long way to go, but it's getting there. North Star showed off a picture of their forthcoming humpback miniature. Gonna need a couple of those guys in Dungeons Dark!

Frostgrave, 2nd Ed. - I'm really annoyed that I didn't change the rules for 'Badly Wounded' when I had the chance. This is the last instance where a warband can play a 'man down' because of the rules. If I were writing it now, I would allow the player to either play with the wounded figure, but start them at -6 Health, or replace the figure for the game with a free thug or thief. 

Also, I just noticed the game is sporting a 5-star average on Amazon with over 250 ratings! That's pretty cool.

Ghost Archipelago - If I had to pick one of my games to play with someone else right now, it would be this one. Partly because I've got my new crew that has never been used against an opponent, partly because I miss it's colourful setting. There is a cool solo scenario coming for it in the next volume of Blaster - basically the crews end up in Innsmouth...

Oathmark - I wish I had included 'Expendable' as an attribute. When a unit with this attribute breaks, it would only cause Cascading Panic among other units with the Expendable attribute. It would make sense for units like goblins slaves, warhounds, wolves, etc.

That's all for today!

28 comments:

  1. I must ask Joe where is the winged two headed beast in the picture from?

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    1. It's from Atlantis Miniatures. It's a pretty astounding model... and comes with a price tag to match. Even now when it's on sale: https://www.atlantisminiatures.com/collections/mythology

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  2. The Expendable attribute is a great idea.

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    1. Very true, and I might suggest it for my group despite my misgivings on tinkering with rules!

      After all Joe mentioned it :D

      Nathan

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    1. Nah, it’s clearly a Crucis Lancers Warhammer!

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  4. Great update, I need to convince my kids to play GA again!

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  5. How much would you rate expendable in terms of point increases?

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    1. Not much, possibly nothing at all. It would generally only apply to units that are so bad that they aren't worth any more points. It's more a balancing mechanism to makes these units less of a liability in an army.

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  6. but DungeonsDark is my HeroQuest expansion!!!! :)
    http://forum.yeoldeinn.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=3223

    I liked the "Through Dungeons Deep and Caverns Old..." line from the song at the beginning of the Hobbit (book and as sung in the Rankin/Bass cartoon). There were too many hits on "Dungeons Deep" so I decided on "Dungeons Dark" with the eventual addition of "Forests Old" and "Caverns Deep" for settings.

    While I did start building "ForestsOld" for HQ years ago, a well done grid with natural terrain (HQ uses squares) is a level of artwork I'm not capable of and I gave up. Instead I'm looking to get my forest setting fix with ROSD. We are Rangers, more outdoor adventures please! :)

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  7. Joe, thanks for the Stargrave backgrounds, that's really interesting. I was wondering if you get a minute you could give us some of your thoughts as a game designer about the pressure to conform to certain tropes in scifi.
    Building a whole new world might be fun, but difficult to do in a game and probably counter-productive (sales wise) as lots of players will want to set games in their favourite works from TV and movies.
    So where does that leave you as a game designer? Make sure you tick everyone's boxes? Create new stuff off your own? Little of both?

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    1. Thankfully, most of the time, I'm more interested in creating systems that allow for as much player creativity as possible, than I am in building specific worlds. So, I don't really feel pressure in that way. Some people prefer the detailed worldbuilding. Nothing wrong with that approach, but it might make it a harder sell to the general wargaming public - especially if it doesn't have specific miniatures.

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  8. "the game is sporting a 5-star average on Amazon with over 250 ratings!"

    And it is well deserved! I've been playing 2E with my boys, and the improvements have been excellent.

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  9. playing Ghost Archipelago singleplayer has kept me sane during lockdown #3 here in Germany. I started playing in december and I even came up with my own rule set for singleplayer and I am having a blast!

    I play with 7 figures per game, Heritor+ Warden, 2 Specialists and 3 Crew. The main treasure is on one side and I start on the other, two smaller treasures are placed 6" apart with the help of a scatter dice, every round or when a treasure is picked up, I roll a D20 and a random encounter roll will be made on 16+ unless there are already more than 5 creatures on the board. the 6 largest terrain pieces all have a number 1-6 and a D6 decides where the creature spawns. I also implemented the rule that if a crew member is downed and not carried (like treasure you can only leave via the boat not any board edge) back to the boat, he will get a +3 on his survival roll(+1 for every monster still on the board alive at the end of the game)

    The tension when 4 people carry a treasure chest and two wounded crew through the jungle back to the boat and every turn you pray that there are no adds spawning!

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    1. Thanks for this - I just asked for ideas about solo systems for Ghost Arch & Frostgrave over on the Rangers of Shadow Deep facebook page. But you have made GA into something RoSD like by just having encounters, as opposed to putting in an enemy Heritor and crew. You aren't missing the threat of the full-throated opposition?

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    2. Thanks for this - I just asked for ideas about solo systems for Ghost Arch & Frostgrave over on the Rangers of Shadow Deep facebook page. But you have made GA into something RoSD like by just having encounters, as opposed to putting in an enemy Heritor and crew. You aren't missing the threat of the full-throated opposition?

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    3. The problem with having Heritors and Wardens as opposition in Solo scenarios is legislating when/how they use their Abilities/Spells. I can do this for very specific cases, but haven't found a good way to cover all cases. In general, I think it works better to go solo versus setting threats and save the other crews for when playing other players.

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    4. Hey Pascal - glad to hear the game has helped you through these tough times! It sounds like you've got a pretty good little system going there, with plenty of ways you can change it up to keep it fresh. Also check out the GA solo scenarios in Spellcaster (and Wargames Illustrated) if you need some more.

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    5. Thank you Joeseph. It helped a ton and I am very grateful for that, I am on a budget and also socially distancing so I only bought the book and a box of crewmen. warden, heritors and monsters are basically all reaper bones minis and the terrain is aquarium decoration and homemade stuff. :)

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  10. I would be really excited to hear about the plans for expansions of Stargrave!

    As popular as Frostrgrave is, I am glad you gave a nod to Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago. It is really a fantastic setting.

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    1. Many thanks. I will be talking more about Stargrave and it's expansions - it's in a bit of a state of flux at the moment (in a good way). I still love Ghost Archipelago and plan to continue supporting it in various ways.

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  11. Hi Joe, have you thought about starting a patreon? I should think that you would get good support writing supplements, maintaining faq's, getting beta test rules changes tested by the patrons (different levels have different access), releasing single scenarios and the like. These all could be available for patrons and depending on their level could either be paid, or available at reduced costs. just a thought. I really appreciate your work and would happily sign up for something like this.

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    1. I have! The truth of the matter is that at the moment I don't need to. You guys are buying enough games and supplements to keep the heating on here at home. While that is true, I prefer the more informal systems. But thanks for the vote of support - there may come a time when I need it!

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  12. Is the expendable attribute something inspired by recent rat related endeavors?

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    1. First thought of mine too.

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    2. I can neither confirm nor deny... oh wait, yes I can. Yeah, it comes from thinking about ratmen - or giant rats specifically.

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  13. Interesting thought about badly wounded in FG - wouldn't that change make it a bit redundant in some cases though? E.g. if a thug is badly wounded he could just be replaced with... another thug? I suppose that's how it goes with them being killed - for us, badly wounded is indeed a fate worse than death because of this, unless you have an Inn!

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