Monday, January 22, 2007

The Other Shoe Drops...

The last post, I said that I had another project in mind, but it wasn’t ready for announcing yet. Well… it still isn’t, but I’m going to do so anyway.

The other project explores my not-so-known love of miniatures games. While I enjoy some historical minis games, what I really dig are the games with a more fantastic theme. I seriously love Warhammer 40K’s background and premise, but Games Workshop’s business practices leave me a tad cold. I dig collecting figures, but I am notoriously slow about assembling and painting them. With 40K, by the time a get a good force done, they change the rules on me and now three-quarters of my figures are now illegal/obsolete. In a word, GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! My current figure love goes out to Privateer Press’ excellent Warmachine. While I prefer sci-fi figs games to fantasy, Warmachine has just enough different about it that I don’t mind, and even welcome, the fantasy setting. Again, however, I am slow about assembling and painting figures, and I’m too cheap to have someone else do it for me.

Thinking about the whole assembling/painting thing got me wondering if there were others who shared my views. Perhaps because of other life commitments, lack of ability, or just plain lack of desire to do that much work just to play a game there lies an untapped market of people who would enjoy strategic/tactical miniatures games if they could avoid most of the pre-game work.

Pre-painted figures are a great idea to circumvent this issue, but the majority of pre-painted figure games emphasize a collectability aspect that makes doing grand battles difficult because one is never certain what figures they are receiving with their current purchase.

What I am about to propose isn’t a revolutionary idea. In fact, I am certain there are at least two other games out there that are basically the same thing as I’m announcing. A “paper-minis” game where those that own the game can just print out as many troops of whatever type as they need as long as they have the paper and ink supply to make it happen. The difference between my game and the others? I’m giving it away.

The game will be called Paper Warriors, and the core rules will be given away free of charge. Much like Role-Playing Game, the rules are meant to be generic, allowing folks to make whatever type of armies they wish. Just print out some representative figures and let the battles begin. Once the rules set is out, I will be following with some pre-made armies and settings. These, I will be charging money for due to other costs involved, chiefly, paying artists.

Just thought I’d clue y’all in before we all forgot about the “other project”.

peace… RHM

P.S. – by the way, the core rules and rules supplements for Role-Playing Game will be given away freely as well. I’m just going to charge money for the setting materials that I produce. =P

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Time to poop or get off the pot...

The logical conclusion of my last post leads me into a corner of sorts. Either I write a game system or I never run another convention event again. Well, those who know me knew where this was headed…

Meet Bob Everyman. The mascot for one of my next writing endeavors simply entitled, Role-Playing Game. From Bob’s look one can surmise that it will be a generic system, but there’s a catch. The core rulebook will only contain the systems to create a base human character and dramatically simulate how he/she/it interacts with the surroundings. Rules for character definition, skill interaction, combat, poisons, and environmental hazards will be included, but there will be no magic system. There will also be no gear list, no talk of money/economics, no other races, and no critters. Will the core system have everything you need to run a game? Nope. That’s where the supplements and settings come in. Supplements will include things like how to build other races or maybe a system of psionics, magic, or super-abilities. Settings will have things like a gear list, perhaps some non-human racial templates, and critters appropriate for the setting.

The layout and art style for the core rules and the supplements are going to be bare bones and very basic. Pictures are pretty, but beauty is only skin deep, and the rule mechanics are the ugly inner core of the beast.

The envisioned layout and art styles for the settings will be MUCH different. These books will be made as beautiful as I can make them. Why? Simple. Settings and world backgrounds are about evoking a mood and a desire to adventure in the environs described and pictured on the pages. That’s how it should be.

Above, I mentioned “endeavors” in a plural sense. I’ve got another iron in the mental fire as well, but it’s not ready for announcing… yet.

peace… RHM

System matter... sometimes.

Hey there… It’s been a bit so I thought I’d let folks in on what’s been going on in my mind in terms of gaming.

I ran Iron Gauntlets for the CU Run Club, a group of GMs who get together and run games for each other so they can at least play in something. It was a freaking disaster. On first glance, the game looks good. The rules and skill resolution are fairly simple and relatively solid. My problem came when combat was happening and one of the players scored a hit upon the attacking critter. Looking at the stats for said critter I found there was no indication on what the Toughness/Armor rating for the critter was. Perusing the Bestiary section of the rulebook further, I noticed that NONE of the critters had Toughness/Armor ratings listed. I grew frustrated and killed the run. A few days later, after I had calmed down from it all, I looked again thinking I had missed something in frustration. Nope. Thus ends my love affair with Iron Gauntlets, a game I so very much wanted to love.

On a related note, one of events I am running for Winter War was originally slated to use Iron Gauntlets as the system. That’s been changed and said event will now be run in Savage Worlds. Problem solved.

Speaking of Winter War, I’ve made a major decision. For the most part, from this year forth, I will no longer run events in any system that is not of my own devising. There might be an occasional foray into something, like Feng Shui, but nothing on a consistent basis. Why? I’m not entirely sure to be honest. Part of it is that I am growing weary of pimping work other than my own. Most of the companies whose games I’ve run for various conventions usually screw the pooch in reciprocating the favor in regard to prize support for the convention. If the convention isn’t going to get any support for effectively advertising a game, then why bother running games in that particular system? Fun? Well sure, fun is the objective of most games, but (and this will sound VERY arrogant) I could run a fun role-playing game session in practically ANY well-written game (IG does not count). Hell, I could probably pull off a good event using freakin’ Tiddly-Winks as the task resolution mechanic if I truly felt the urge to do so. Hence, in the future beginning with Winter War 2008 and beyond, y’all will be subjected to products of my own imagination. Enjoy.

peace… RHM