Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Art from our D&D Campaign

Kittens are terrible for productivity, let me say that now. I've had to force myself to work on the demo kit for the convention. And working on the angel game? Forget it. How can I possibly do work with two adorable fluff balls thundering around the house?

Well, I finally started doing some drawing again - despite my husband teasing me that I had to re-learn how to draw. I wanted to draw our characters for our game of 4th Edition D&D.


This is Valeria, my Eladrin Wizard. I'm very much enjoying 4th Edition's take on Wizards, especially since I rolled really well and she wound up with super-high casting stats. She's a rock star!


This is Zarin, my husband's Ranger. Zarin is, possibly, the most badass character EVER. He has a higher kill-count than the rest of the party, almost. And of course, he's an elf - so how could I resist drawing him? I will probably color him at some point, because he is very, very yummy.

So more D&D drawings will probably follow, since I feel mildly obligated to draw the whole party (though whether I do or not is another story.) Hopefully I'll get some interesting illustrating jobs after GenCon since it's been a while.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My newest productivity-killer

You can't see him very well, but this is Constantine - like the Holy Roman Emperor, not like the crappy movie by Keanu Reeves.

This is Rhubarb, Constantine's sister. Clearly, she sees something interesting.

Attack! Rhubarb attacks!

Constantine decides to show his displeasure for the attack on his royal dignity.


So, as might be obvious from the pictures, Kit and I adopted two kittens this evening. They're happily exploring the house and tearing around making lots of noise. Rhubarb is brave and sweet and not at all afraid to come up for petting and affection. Constantine is not as sure of things as his sister and quite shy, but he can be affectionate when you do pet him.

We're very happy we got two siblings, because they're obviously having a hoot playing together and they'll be able to keep each other company while we're at work. In fact, right now they're play-fighting under my desk.

So that's my latest productivity destroyer. It's a very *cute* productivity destroyer, however.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The angel game - some basic notes about structure

The angel game (titles are a weakness of mine) has been coming along nicely. I’ve got the basic structure of the game figured out, even if hammering down the specifics is giving me a bit of trouble. I’m designing it to be a pretty short-form game that can be played episodically or as a one-shot – very much like Inspectres. What’s more, it’s going to be a very competitive game, with players on two teams trying to accomplish opposing goals.

There are going to be two modes of play with different lengths. Skirmish mode will be a super-short, party game type length – say forty-five minutes to an hour long where teams play through only one mission. There will be a longer mode that will consist of three connected missions with an overall goal, the goal for play length being a couple hours.

As far as the structure of play goes, the game will be pretty rigidly structured into distinct phases of play.

The first phase will be Mission Generation and Briefing. Teams will generate a mission by rolling on a table once each for Person, Action, and Location. So sample missions that might be generated could be Assassinate the UN Secretary General in the Hague, or Brainwash a Popular Cult Leader in the Pentagon.

The second phase will be Mission Prep. During Mission Prep, players from each team will take turns trying to accumulate advantages to apply to the inevitable conflict. (This phase is, as yet, the least well-defined)

The third phase is when the two teams actually go head-to-head. Play in this phase is team-versus-team play in which each team races to acquire three successes and complete the mission. This section is looking to be pretty crunchy and tactically complex, but the goal is for it to be crunchy in a Gamist fun kind of way. The tactics map that I posted in my previous post is actually going to be used in this section of the game.

I’ve already gotten some positive responses from a thread on Story-Games, so I’m feeling very encouraged and am happily plugging away at the first rough document.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The new game

I decided that my notes were reasonably complete enough to make a stab at typing up a draft version of the black ops angel game that I'm working on right now. There's still several things that I don't know how they're going to work, but I feel like I have a reasonably complete idea of what the overall structure of the game should look like and what my objectives are for the type of play I want to achieve is.

Whether or not I can come close to achieving that is anyone's guess. But I sure plan on giving it a go!

As might be implied by the subject matter, and from previous posts, this will be an incredibly tongue-in-cheek endeavor - which will be a bit of a relief after the unrelenting seriousness of Thou Art But A Warrior. Here are some amusing excerpts from what I have of the document so far.

"Opposing team, your job is much easier. You know that God wants to kills bunches and bunches of infidels. So obviously you want to Protect the Popular Cult Leader from being Framed in the Hague, Assassinate the Weapons Researcher in China, and Brainwash/Covert the Popular Cult Leader at the Pentagon.

Easy? No? Well, nothing worth doing ever is."

I plan on opening the book with an intro comic to set the tone of the game and explain the ideas behind the setting. I was writing up my thoughts on how it should go, and this little bit amused me...

REPORTER: What about the fact that Satan and those traditionally affiliated with him deny responsibility for the outbreaks that have killed millions. A spokesman for the terrorist group HALO blamed the attacks on God.

PRESS SECRETARY JESUS CHRIST: Well, Satan is a liar. Next question.

Lastly, here's something I'm working on for the phase of the game when the two sides battle head to head. I'm not going to bother trying to explain the rules, because I haven't got them all figured out yet. Never the less, I think it looks pretty nifty.


Anyhow, I had a lot more planned out than I realized because when I sat down to translate my 5 or so tiny pages of handwritten notes into english, I wound up with 5+ typed pages of notes in Word, and I haven't even touched half of what I've done so far. Which is heartening, because I've gotten more done than I thought I had.

My goal is to have a mega-ultra-super rough draft that I can test bits of the system for by October - as that will be when we're having the next gaming mini-con/reunion for the old Ohio group. What with GenCon and the house, though, I don't know that that's terribly realistic. But I'll keep that goal in mind all the same.