Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Small LOA Companion Update

I have a tiny update on the Legends of Anglerre Companion, for those who are interested. And honestly, if you like LOA at all, you should be very interested, because this is shaping up to be a very good book.

Anyway, I sent in some last-minute revisions to the City Adventures chapter today. I used to think it was pretty good; now I think it's pretty great. Minor changes, but they make a big difference. Sorry I can't be more specific than that, but I can at least say that they give the chapter, which is primarily concerned with defining cities as collections of organizations, significantly more depth. And it makes those organizations more fun to create. IMO, anyway.

I'm pretty pleased with my contributions to this thing. The Random Adventure Generator does what it says on the tin, and the Island Adventures chapter, though wholly crunch-free (beware!), strikes me as both fun and useful for sparking ideas -- at least, that's what it's intended to be.

How about the Table of Contents? Sure, I don't see the harm in that.
  • Keeping it in the Family 
  • Random Adventure Generator
  • City Adventures 
  • Illondre and Goh’Myreth
  • Island Adventures
  • Hammerhold 
  • Dreams on Dragon Island
  • Cities of the Silver Sea
  • The Sirens of Simris
  • Cornucopeia
  • Undercity Creatures and Island Inhabitants
  • Aspects-only Play 
  • Sleepwalk 
  • Pathwalking
As you can see, there's some actual Anglerre setting info (the Illondre chapter), a bunch of stuff on islands and aquatic adventures, the long-discussed-but-cut-from-the-corebook-for-space system for Aspects-only play, and more. It's going into the "pre-final edit" any minute now, which would seem to indicate it's coming out... soon? Ish?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So You Want to Play FATE....

A little mini-meme project has spontaneously sprung into being over on FATE pamphlets. user TheMouse did an excellent run-down of FATE basics that easily fits on a single double-sided sheet of letter-sized paper (and A4, presumably). Prompted by my half-joking suggestion for a FATE rules pamphlet akin to pamphlets you might find in a doctor's waiting room, user Glyptodont rose to the challenge with this pamphlet-style treatment of TheMouse's text, followed by Diaspora co-author Brad Murray, aka Halfjack, who added some art, a title ("So you want to play a gorilla in a bi-plane"), and true pamphlet-fold formatting.The call has now gone out for FATE genre pamphlets, for fantasy, sci-fi, and etc., though none as of yet has materialized.

Why is all this so great? A couple reasons.

One, it's proof that thick FATE books like SotC and Legends of Anglerre aren't massive because they have to be, but because the authors wanted them to be. The rules themselves (note that the pamphlet necessarily cuts out skill and stunt descriptions, but that's okay) clearly don't take up all that much space, so what else is in those books? Examples. Extrapolations. Expansions. In other words, more creative content. Y'know, the stuff you're paying for when you buy a book.

The other reason I think the FATE pamphlet is awesome is that it hopefully signals the beginning of a new shared project for the FATE community. TheMouse's slimmed-down FATE rules aren't the end-all, be-all of FATE, nor are they intended to be; they're just one gamer's attempt to illustrate that FATE doesn't have to be hard to learn. I'd love to see more takes on this same idea by other FATE fans. There's no definitive version of FATE out there (I think most of us can agree on that, anyway), but can you make a pamphlet for the FATE you play at your table? If you like your FATE by the book, fine -- can you make, say, a Starblazer Adventures pamphlet, or a DFRPG pamphlet? I know I'm going to make a FATE Kerberos pamphlet for convention games, that's for damn sure. And how great it'll be to leave FATE pamphlets lying around like so much propaganda at conventions. I mean, FATE isn't exactly a hard sell at Strategicon, but still, it'll amuse me.

In other words, could this be the beginning of Microlite FATE? I'd like to think so. If it is, you're a part of it!

UPDATE: And here's Eclipse Phase creator Adam Jury's take on the pamphlet.

UPDATE: Here's user TechOgre's Legends of Anglerre-specific pamphlet. [As of 12/7/10, this link is no longer working. Following up with the man himself to see what's up with it.]

UPDATE: Here's TheMouse's fantasy-specific FATE pamphlet. Note that it isn't drawn from any one FATE source; it's pretty much his quick-and-dirty version of fantasy FATE, and it looks pretty good to me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

An Important Announcement from Roll Some Dice

I know many of you are probably eagerly awaiting news of FATE Kerberos, but... this is about something else. Before you get too disappointed, though, read on.

My Game Chef 2010 entry has made it through to the finalist round (along with nearly half of the 59 entries, from what I can tell), but the winner is the game that's been playtested by the most groups before the December 5th deadline. Not playtested the most, because multiple sessions with the same group don't count, but playtested by the largest number of groups.

So this post is to let you know that you can help me almost win Game Chef simply by playing my game.

It's called Action City!, and it's a game about, more or less, '80s action movies, mostly of the cheesy variety. You can find the current game text at that link there, and some rules clarifications, examples, and other invaluable stuff here. (Seriously, that second link is important.) To play, you'll need a buncha d6s, some index cards, a deck of playing cards, two or three other players, and a couple hours to spare. Actually, I'm not sure how long gameplay would take, but if you put a couple hours into it, it'll certainly count as a playtest. It's not a FATE game, but if you're familiar with FATE I'm sure one or two elements of it will be a bit easier for you to swallow.

You may now go back to being disappointed about the lack of FATE Kerberos news. I'm sorry I got your hopes up.