I'm sure the entire world knows that things went well with my son's surgery. Being able to spend the past two days with him reminds me why I like to talk to him about games.

He has good ideas.

Making Creatures and Clerics

I am about 20% into generating stats for a monster book I mentioned earlier. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I am generating statistics for everything I can find and then refining it later. The latest kernel to come from that feature two opposing Cleric traditions: the Dragon and the Gryphon. While thinking about Clerics that worship these two creatures, I realized that their spell delivery system would be unusual. Dragon priests would deliver spells by breathing or otherwise exhaling something, including gouts of flame. Gryphons were a bit more difficult, but I settled on sonic based spells as a specialty.

There's more, but that bit of inspiration is staying with me enough to test it out on my group.

Oh Em Gee, It's White Star

I have also been dying to put out something for White Star. I see the rush to publication and I feel a bit behind. However, instead of rushing into a project, I want to finish the one I started first. So White Star will have to wait, for now. (It is extremely difficult.)

Dice and Cards

Berin Kinsman has written recently and Fred Hicks some time ago that RPG makers need to expand beyond the dedicated gamers and write to a totally different audience. I thought about that when the inspiration for 2d6 and a deck of cards hit me. It's not that the mechanics are totally different, it's that no special dice or equipment are necessary to purchase in order to play the game.

The more I keep going, however, the more I find that this system doesn't really lend itself to a new gamer. Maybe I'm wrong, but I see it growing past a small set of rules. So, for whomever the audience turns out to be, I added a tweak to the card mechanics.

To review, every character that uses a fourth stat, a resource pool for special ability associated with that stat, and a playing card called their Chi. Using a special ability requires a 2d6 + drawn card to determine success.

The new wrinkle is adding other cards to function like the Chi card. These Tag cards would not be a representation of a character's overall Chi or destiny. Instead these cards would represent techniques or quirks associated with using their special abilities. The mechanical benefit would be that Tag cards would be treated as Chi cards for determining resolution. Basically, you draw your Chi card or one of the Tag cards, and you have an automatic success in using your special ability.

Here's an example Wizard:

The Wizard has a Chi card of the 4 of Clubs. He has acquired bits of magical lore through his research represented by Tag cards. He has the 9 of Hearts, which represents small round objects. He has the 3 of Spades which represents the number three. He also has a 7 of Hearts that represents Oak wood.

Normally when casting a spell, only the 4 of Clubs is significant in determining success. However, if the Wizard attempts a spell that incorporates one of more of these Tag cards, they can be used to help determine success.

Let's say the wizard casts a spell that is a variation of the Bolt spell that does 1d6 damage. Let's say that the spell shows itself as three small spheres of green energy emanating from the Wizard's hand before racing toward a single target. This spell incorporates the small round objects Tag card and the Number Three Tag card. This means that if the Wizard draws a 4 of Clubs, a 9 of Hearts, or a 3 of Spades, the spell is an instant success -- you do not need to check the dice + rank result, look at the suit, or anything else. It just works.

What I like is that it encourages spell research into some unusually descriptive spells. I also like that magic talismans that represent these Tag cards are a new kind of magic item.

I've also been working on good tags to use. Early on, I figured out that all tag cards must be nouns. Adjectives really confuse things.

Did Somebody Say White Star?

Yes, yes. The mecha/tank game or the setting I mentioned earlier are strong possibilities. Like I said earlier, though, one thing at a time. Having said that, I hope to have a review up soon.

That's all for now. See you in a couple days with a lot more work done. 🙂