Not a Secret Project

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I am always working on a new project, especially when a previous one fails. This time, I am mostly taking the advice of Kevin Crawford of actually writing all the text before before attempting to publish anything. (I'm in the editing phase of the current project.)

Some time ago, I mentioned the OSR Tinkerer's Toolkit and making a quarterly zine called Odd Duck. The idea is that I am testing the toolkit to come out with a different game based on the toolkit. One new game or setting will be in every issue of Odd Duck.

The rest of the pdf will have pieces of the Toolkit in smaller articles. This includes things like mini-encounters, new monsters, new magic items, spells, playable races, magic systems, and a place to discuss a particular mechanic.

For example, in issue one, the theme is Armor. There will be an encounter with naturally armored creatures. (The answer to the encounter will not be kill them all, although that is certainly one option.) There will be two new armored creatures detailed in a monster article. There will be a demonstration of using the Alternate Combat Sequence Method No. 3 that is more visual than number-crunching. Another article details the use of spidersilk and integrating spidersilk workers into a setting. Of course, there will be spells and magic items mixed in as well.

The game for issue one will be my final version of Lorica, a large vehicle game inspired by Battletech, Centurion Legion, and various mecha.

In writing the text, Lorica has changed from the various posts here. Nanites play a big roll in the repair, management, and manufacture of various machines. There are still lots of different kinds of weapons, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The system to create your own machines is still largely the same. I won't include the 50 types of mecha I have already created in the issue, but I'll publish them here on the website.

The machines themselves are not the bulky metal-and-wires mecha I loved in all our games  of Battletech growing up. Instead, the huge machines are semi-intelligent artificial life forms. The internal structure is a type of supergel that distributes weapons damage efficiently throughout the mech while nanites effect regenerative repair. The outside will still feature ceramic outer armor. In many ways, the mech will be an extension of the pilots' own body.

By the way, it uses the alternate combat rules discussed in a separate article.

There's more to come. I recently recovered a lot of gaming journals and notes that I thought I had lost. This includes a setting I sketched out called Circles of the Nine Songs as well as various psionics systems, old dungeons, MSH characters, and NPCs galore. There is plenty to write about.

One other thing is that I use Microlite20 as part of the tinker's kit. M20 is great at prototyping and it is used for the limited testing I am able to do. All in all, I think I have finally embarked on a project that is doable and sustainable. As I said, the first issue is in editing. The second issue (which is about Magic) will be the best of the Magic Project I started in January. I won't have the spell building system (that utterly failed), but I will have article about using different mechanics for types of magic systems.

Okay, maybe there is a secret project coming. It has nothing to do with Odd Duck and it will not benefit me directly at all. All I'll say is that it has to do with M20, but I'll say nothing else. Unlike Odd Duck, I don't know if I will be able to do this project like I impicture it.

Anyway, the insanely busy season is passing for me. I haven't written anything in over two months and I am ready to go. Wish me luck!

Making Stuff, Charging Nothing

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I have been working on assembling my notebooks (paper and virtual) to provide gaming stuff to share. Some of the material needs a larger format than the blog, some of it is too short to post about. It will be a lot of work to translate it from Scribblese to English, but it is a lot of fun.

To that end, I created the layout for Odd Duk, an occasional 'zine about Swords & Wizardry, one-off games, and anything else I can find in my years of stuff. You may or may not find it useful, but I enjoy sharing whatever I have. It will be available in PDF and Mobi formats for certain. I will try epub, but I don't have a good way to test that format.

Don't worry, there won't be a dead tree version for sale, it will always be free. I don't have the long stapler to assemble them, nor the budget to print them. I will, however, post separate pdfs of the cover and the content so that you can make your own.

I also finished the game I had originally planned to make for the Ptolemaic Dice contest. It won't require a Ptolemaic Die to play, but it should work with other alphabet dice out there. It's based on Microlite20 (legacy rules), so it won't be rules heavy.

Unlike a lot of things, I have all the fiddly bits worked out. No endless fussing over fonts or layout. Add content and pictures, process, publish. Wish me luck!