Quick Notes

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I have a post in the queue about an alternate origin of dragons. This article is in the same vein (though not the same manner) as the dwarves of Dwimmermount. It should show up on Monday. Today, however, there is a hodpodge of ideas that I wanted to share instead of creating yet more draft posts.

Azamar Review

Over 250 people have read my review of Azamar over the past few days. I hope that it was helpful. Sales seem to be going well, it is #12 on the Hottest Items list at RPGNow.com. My two part review can be found at these links:

Azamar Part the First
Azamar Part the Second

Arcanist Rules

I've written about a skill-based mage called the Arcanist for Andras a number of times. Before jotting down a few notes, here is an index:

First Draft of the Arcanist (I don't like this version)
Discussion of Spell Points
Yet More Thoughts on Spell Points
A Brief Mention about the Spell List
The First Stats Appear for the Arcanist

I've shifted a bit from the OpenQuest Magnitude chart to using the Open D6 chart. I've also changed the spell point system. The main reason for doing this was the ability to create spells by effect. I still generate some spells from TFT, OpenQuest, 2e Psionics, etc. The difference is that now there are spells from OpenD6 as well. Basing spell creation on a simplied OpenD6 spell building system allows the Arcanist to have similar spell school options as regular Mages. In other words, you can have a specialist Arcanist.

Another reason for changing to something like the OpenD6 spell system is that I can provide bonuses/penalties for all kinds of situations that would pertain only to a skill-based mage. For example:

Increasing Casting Time to 9:                 +2
Increasing Casting Time by a round:   +5
Eschewing Material Components:         -2
Eschewing Verbal Components:            -2
Eschewing Somatic Components:         -2
Casting a Spell with students:                +1 per student max +10

Again, the Arcanist cannot change the intensity, range or area of the effect without researching a new spell. However, that research will be significantly reduced from the cost of researching the original spell.

With the group casting bonus, if would be fair to surmise that there are some spells that can only be cast by a group of Arcanists. The +1 per student bonus is only for spell that were originally created to be cast by a sole Arcanist. Group Spells that will be given in a later PDF have the benefit of a community already factored in.

New Dice

I went to an educational store and picked up some unusual dice. One is a d6 that has negative numbers. The others are all fractional. There is a red d8 that features 1/8 through 1,  a white d10 with 1/10 through 1 and two white d6's that have different fractions. One d6 has 1/6 through 1. The other d6 has 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8 and 1/12. Lots of fun to be had besides adding and subtracting fractions practice.

ConstantCon

I've asked Google+ developers for a page that anyone could post upcoming hangouts on. I could post something here, but I'm thinking of something that is editable by the community and doesn't rely on me to find all the ConstantCon Hangouts and Games that are going on. Here's to hoping.

Also on the ConstantCon front, I hope to have a game scheduled to start in November for a Spelljammer game. I am a parent of two young ones, so it will be a weekend schedule.

Potpourri and Upcoming Posts

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I've begun to believe that the RPG crowd has taken over Google+. Aside from Zuckerberg and Ford Motors, almost everyone I have seen there is from the RPGBA and the RPGBN. This isn't a problem for me as Google+ has not been blocked by my workplace, yet.

If you need invites, let me know. I got a bunch.

Thanks to everyone that linked the trailer of the upcoming John Carter of Mars. (I linked to the Apple trailer instead of the one on YouTube.) Since it is Disney, I'm not sure what to expect. Until then, all I can say is BARSOOM!

I have received a review copy of Azamar, a game based on the OpenD6 rules. The folks at Wicked North Games developed their own SRD called Cienma6 and then created Azamar as a fantasy setting on top of it. Seeing Azamar reminds me of what I loved about D6 when I first saw it a couple years ago. I'll get into more detail in another post, but it reminds me of Talislanta in scope and diversity. I've really enjoyed reading it so far. When I think about RPG material I like, it has to meet two criteria: I want to play it and it has stuff I can re-use in my campaign. Azamar meets both of these criteria very well.

I think I've worked out the spell and augmentation systems for the Arcanist. The spell list is heavily inspired by OpenQuest sorcerers, 2e psionicists, a smattering of Wizards from TFT and magic items from Tekumel. Developing this class has helped me to define some of what differentiates Andras and 2e. It has also stretched the class creation system I plan to include in the GMs guide. Not only can you re-create the standard classes, but invent an off-the-wall magic wielding class!

Zolotta Publishing will quit publishing Tekumel books after its current inventory runs out. Many fans of Tekumel books have inquired about digital publishing and/or assuming the rights to publish the books. We'll see what happens next.

Savage Worlds Deluxe is out and I have a copy. I am excited about it in many ways. The biggest way pertains to advice about running the game without miniatures. I don't use minis at all. I have a big pad of blotter paper and I may scribble some sketches of a room or corridor, but nothing with enough detail that a player begins to study the scale of the drawing and start to argue exact distances. If the action moves from the mental landscape to the real world, it's not fun for me anymore. It's a personal preference, not a criticism. Many of my gaming friends love minis and tactical planning, etc. If I had the money, I'd be painting them and building huge armies to display in my basement.

I don't have to change much about Shayakand to conform to these rules, but I am hopeful that it can help me figure out the system of psionic magic called Shaping.

Lastly, a link I keep forgetting to make permanent on my site, the list of retro-clones, some not related to D&D.

Anyway, that's what is percolating here. Next post really should be the Azamar review. I am testing it to see if I understand some of the finer points so that I can sound half-way intelligent in my review.