Monday, May 4, 2009

RPG Projects I'm Working On

My operating system is cluttered with windows this morning of the various projects I have on the go. Which means it's a good day so far, I love having too much to do, especially when it's to do with role-playing.

I recently took up some guest blogging for the Core Mechanic which is starting to make me enthusiastic. Johnathan the blog owner is a very bright guy and is managing the blog really well. This is great for me because I'm the sort who (obviously) doesn't care to do much blog management, so this lets me just concentrate on the writing and networking aspects which is what I enjoy. I can see my writing relationship with TCM being very fruitful.

This weekend I also decided that I needed to start moving ahead with playtesting Hardkore, so I took some time to work out a rough campaign outline in a setting I'm developing specifically for the Hardkore system and started reaching out to a few players to join and help me playtest. As usual everyone is quite busy, but I'm tenacious and won't take no for an answer. I'm currently putting together a playtest package for the players so that they have an updated copy of the rules in addition to any setting specific information I feel they need. It's a pretty big package, out of curiosity I opened it into MS Word so I could do a word count. Without any formatting the material is over 25,000 words and 75 pages. Wow, I've been busy.

Currently I'm working on inputting all that into an Adobe Indesign book so that the playtest document is a bit more readable. I'll hopefully have most of that done by the end of the day, right now I'm transferring over all the gun stats.

One of the things I really love about Hardkore is the attention to detail Dixon had when working on the firearms. Currently we have over 40 different firearms with comprehensive stats, our stats are so comprehensive that we actually include different stat lines for different types of ammunition that can be loaded in the gun. Not just slug rounds vs buckshot either, like the difference between a full metal jacket round and a jacketed hollow point round. All this matters because our damage system is the most realistic of any game out there. Thats where I think our niche will be actually. In gamers who want to customize and play out scenarios of war in a tabletop RP environment rather than a first-person shooter video game.

Anyhow that's a bit of an update, so I'll get back to work.


  1. How does the realistic damage system compare to Phoenix Command?

    And how do you manage incredible technical accuracy without slowing down gameplay?

  2. I'm not familiar with Phoenix command, so I couldn't tell you. Our damage system functions with 4 different types of damage, bashing, edged, puncture and elemental. The difference in these is how well the body resists the differing types of force. From there we have hit location because how dire a wound will always depend on what part of the body it's to. A bullet to the foot is never as dire as a bullet to the lung after all. Then we have 5 levels of trauma that vary from a minor bruise (superficial) to effectively complete distruction of the targeted area. The effects of these traumas are as accurately modeled as we can make them including effects of shock, blood loss, broken bones and the like. We don't go into detail of what specifically the medical complications are during combat because that doesn't matter, all that matters is how it impacts a given character's combat performance.

    As for your second question... we do a few things. We keep the essential information right on the character sheet for reference. I can't explain this further, but I can confidently say that once the character knows the dice mechanic (which is quite simple) all the character needs to actually play is right on the character sheet.

    The second part of that is, combat is one roll per attack. That one roll encompasses hit-location, whether it hit or not, and how much trauma it does if it his. This factors in defense of the opponent, any armor that's being worn, if the character is behind cover, all of it. I can't say exactly how we accomplish this, and I would admit that if the necessary information wasn't right on the character sheet it would be annoyingly complex and slow, but as it sits combat becomes very fast because once the participants calculate their first action, most further actions are simply about knowing where the effect threshold is on the die roll.

    Hope that answers your questions.