Friday, June 23, 2017

Patreon Post: Modular Robots

Hello, dear reader.  I've been hard at work finishing the Rebellion of Grist based on our vote, oh, last month and one of the choices I offered, that people took, was combat robots.  I don't have combat robots!  Well, I do: Ultra-Tech has combat robots (about 2), but if I use those, then I'm using the same ones over and over again.  I knew I wanted to look at robot design eventually, as I wasn't happy with the robots I had on hand, by I thought I would wait until I took a look at the Cybernetic Union, but no such luck: I needed that system now.

So, that's what I have for you today!  For today, for all $1+ patrons, I have a modular robot design system, inspired by the Modular Mecha pyramid article, including a design journal discussing why I made the choices I did.  If you're already a patron, go check it out!  If you're not a patron, hey guys, it's $1!  That's less than a pyramid article, and you get access to all of my other $1 articles, including the recent tech-week.  Check it out!


Support me on Patreon!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Alliance

Well, my dear reader, we've finally returned to Psi-Wars.  I have the Alliance for you, the rump state of the old Federation, which combines the remnants of the old Maradon noble houses with rebellious planets and anti-Imperial corporations to create an industrial base from which the rebellion fights the good fight.

I've noted before that Psi-Wars will go in a different direction than Star Wars, and this is where that difference starts to become obvious.  The Empire of Psi-Wars and Star Wars tend to resemble one another strongly, but that isn't so here, and that's because Psi-Wars has some core needs that Star Wars doesn't.  Star Wars prefers the simpler black-and-white politics of the good Rebellion, an underdog desperately outmatched, vs the evil Empire.  Psi-Wars, being an Action RPG, needs to have the sort of crazy internal politics that you tend to see in most action movies (You know, where the CIA sends you to topple a dictator that it, itself, put into power).  I also don't want to tell you who you should be playing as, and who your opponent should be.  Imperial players need a good Alliance to go up against, and Alliance players need internal problems to solve.  Thus, the Alliance needs to be more nuanced than the Rebellion of Star Wars. Furthermore, Star Wars draws a lot of its inspiration from World War 2, but that didn't involve the French Resistance defeating Nazi Germany, but the Allies, industrial powers like the US, Britain and Russia, defeating Nazi Germany, with an assist from the French Resistance.  Where, pray tell, does the Star Wars rebellion get all those carriers and capital ships?

Hence the Alliance.  It represents a fractious and often politically tentative alliance of powers drawn together by their opposition to the Empire, and their general preference for the past.  This makes it a complicated group, heterogeneity in contrast to the Empire's homogeneity, and that took me a lot of work (and, as of this writing, still not complete yet).  I'd love feedback on it, as I slowly unveil it, especially how tenable a setting it presents.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Patreon Post: Alliance Preview 1: Planetary Governments

Hello my dear Psi-Wars fans! The time I took off has been well spent, and I come to you with the latest installment of Psi-Wars: The Alliance!

First, I want to note that the Alliance of Psi-Wars is very different than the Rebellion of Star Wars. Where the Rebellion is a bunch of rag-tag rebels from various walks of life who have managed to inexplicably get their hands on serious hardware. The Alliance is the rump state of the old Federation, the last hold-outs against the Empire, who take on a role similar to the Allies in WW2 and the Senatorial forces in the Roman Civil War. Thus, the Alliance has not only its own military, but it's own government and law enforcement!

The Alliance has also turned out to be much more complex and heterogeneous than the great, monolithic Empire, so I need to discuss the various parts of it. Today, I have the first chunk for you, which are planetary governments, which turned out to be much more important than I thought. Not only are they diverse, but you can also use ideas presented herein to create independent worlds out in the galaxy (which is effectively what they are), though this is an element I should revisit.

This is available to all Fellow Travelers ($3+). If you're already a patron (perhaps to check out the Orphan of the Stars document?) check it out! If you're not, I'd love to have you!



Support me on Patreon!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Orphans of the Stars Political Document

meeting_the_emperor by klausmasterflex
First, I want to thank my fans for their patience.  This project has led to a startling drop in views, no doubt because the Psi-Wars fans aren't, you know, seeing Psi-Wars, and Orphans hasn't built up as much of a base, and also, the documents are a bit dry.  I've taken the time to rebuild some lead time on Psi-Wars, and I'm pleased to announce that we'll return to it starting next week, with a look at the Alliance, the beating heart of the rebellion against the Empire.

For those of you who are here for Orphans of the Stars, the draft is available on Patreon.  It's not particularly thoroughly edited (you'll get it "as is"), but I would appreciate your feedback.  It's 20k words on running political games for a sweeping space opera, but I'm sure you can alter it to fit other genres.  It's $5; if you're already a $5+ subscriber, you can just get it.  If you're not, just subscribe and you'll have it. You can immediately delete your pledge there after if this is all you want (you should be charged immediately and then never again), but while you're there, check out some other material, see if you like what I'm doing.  Some especially interesting posts might be:

  • Modelling Grav Cars, which includes a document that discusses how to use Vehicles 3e with GURPS 4e, provided you have access to works like GURPS Spaceships and several pyramid articles.  It's the best I've managed to cobble together, and it works pretty well until Vehicles 4e comes out.
  • Dirty Ultra-Tech, which borrows from GURPS High-Tech's Dirty Tech sidebars and applies them to Blasters
  • The Recent Tech Week has some general material, including a look at Weapons, and a discussion of Armor
If you're a psi-wars fan, dig back over the polls and some of the material that have come out of it!



Support me on Patreon!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Orphans of the Stars: Political Conflict

This will be my last "design notes" post for Orphans of the Stars.  I'm going to post the actual draft next week at this time and place, giving me a little extra time to work on Psi-Wars (the Alliance is coming along nicely, though it'll be a very different beast than what we see in Star Wars.  Stay tuned, my Psi-Wars faithful!).  It'll be available on Patreon for $5, as stated before.

Today, I look into the most important element of political gameplay, conflict, which allows you to defeat your opponents through war, espionage, subversion and economic sanction, which is just what everyone seems to really want when they talk about "political gameplay."  Most of this made it into the final cut, and more!  And even if you don't want sweeping, interstellar political contests, the ideas presented herein might still prove useful inspiration for your own political games.


GURPS Day: How are high point total campaigns possible?

It's kinda like that.

So I'm just curious. How are 300+ character point campaigns even possible? I'm a "lower decks" kinda guy myself (between 100-130 points), and haven't ever considered one of those ultra-powerful types of parties. Given what I know of the GURPS 3d6 mechanics, however, how does that even work? Unless one limits the players to purchasing more breadth of Skills rather than height, it would generate Skills and Basic Attributes so high that only a 17 or 18 would indicate failure. I'd think whoever goes first in a round would pretty much accomplish every goal before anyone else had a chance, and in combat, you'd get strike/successful dodge/strike/successful dodge ad nauseam against NPCs. Unless the GM contrives clumsy penalties that mediate every dice roll. I'm sure there are supplements out there specific to high-point campaigns, and I wondered if the mechanics change somewhat in consideration of such super-powered settings. Otherwise, it would be like an AD&D campaign in which only a natural 20 or natural 1 ever indicates anything besides a miss or successful Saving Throw.
-Thomas W. Thornberry 
Douglas Cole, of Gaming Ballistics, spread this around  the GURPS day list, and it personally struck a chord with me, not just because I so regularly run and play in these sorts of games, but because he talks my language.  Breadth? Height? Bell Curves?!  Let's do this!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Orphans of the Stars: Organizational Gameplay

We know what the overall themes of gameplay are now, but we need to know what the PCs, themselves, do with it.  The ruling noble might decree that the planet is to wage war upon a rival while also changing the ideology of the people, but what organizations wage war? Who changes the ideology of the people?  And how and when do the PCs improve their organizations?  How does all of this translate into, you know, something fun like an action scene or a dramatic seduction or a cunning infiltration?

Eventually, less of this material made it into the final draft because it turned out to be more complicated than necessary, but I present the whole thing for your consideration.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...