I will make this short and sweet. Over the next two weeks I will be making changes to the website as well as changes to Skaerune' and Salt Mine Blues. These are good and positive changes for everyone and everything involved. Once I have it all done, I will make a post talking about those changes,
So this morning I posted about Twilight's River return. Later this summer will be a short and quick version to play with and a full game will come next year, likely Q2. I have already laid the keel for Runed Worlds and Skaerune' is doing fantastic with Salt Mine Blues racking up nice downloads over at Drive Through RPG. Pommels & Paradoxes own free to play intro, The Quicksand & The Deadfall, is already in the works, due out in May. Other games have had treatments and initial concepts laid down.
This is a pretty big schedule for one person. After all I am a father of a growing three year old and have a partner, friends, a Shadowrun game I run, a D&D game I play in, and a Stormbringer game I want to run when I find some folks to play in it. Add to that work and it is almost time for JordanCon, plus my woefully in need of more of my time writing career.
It is a lot, but this is how I work and it does work. I am better organized now, dedicating a day here for this project, there for that. My goal is to get as many free intro mods out as possible, get folks to give me some feedback, and then build the games folks want to play.. Going all in is the best way, but I have not forgotten to relax, take care of my health, and spend time with family and friends. This is a pretty exciting time.
So I wanted to talk about Pommels & Paradoxes a bit. The game itself has changed so much since I began working on it over a year ago. Gone are all the classes, replaced by just two now. The basic mechanic is a lot different now as well. I hope it still feels old school enough and I think it does. Only time will tell of course.
The most interesting change has been one of tone. What had been an excuse for some good ole fashioned dungeon beat downs has now taken a dark turn into swords, sorcery, and social commentary. I want to aim almost for some cathartic play that let's players let their hair down for four hours and they can walk away feeling cleansed. Balancing that with good test and an eye towards modern ideals won't be easy and I will err on the side of more messed up than not.
With a shift in tone, a shift in mechanics that do not support that tone as much as they get the hell out of the way is in order. It is dice rolling people, this is not rocket science. So it won't be anything anyone has not seen in some before. I hope it still feels unique though and of course that it works. If it does, then I may use it as the basis for other games too, but that remains to be seen.
More on P&P next week once Salt Mine Blues is up and out.
Edit: It has been over two years since I picked up P&P again.
So the RPG Gods must have been smiling down on me today. Yesterday I commented in an unofficial sort of EN World poll about most anticipated RPGs of 2017. Well I of course put down Skaerune' and Pommels & Paradoxes. So of course both make the the official poll list! I am beyond ecstatic over this.
So now I am in hyper marketing mode since only a handful of people know about Skaerune' and even less know about P&P.
So if you are interested go over to EN World and vote for us! Plus the other games on there you are anticipating in 2017!
So I really need to keep this updated more. Perhaps a plan would be a good thing.
As those following along may know, I am working feverishly on Skaerune' Verse Zero, which is a Quick Start version of the game that will be made available for free. This was supposed to be done in January but with still having to work full time and being a full time father I overestimated how quickly it was getting done. The extra time has paid off of course.
However, I do want to get people playing the game so I am going to create an actual Quick Start module with pre generated characters and the minimal rules needed to play. It will be called Skaerune': Salt Mine Blues. I already have the rules and a short adventure should be good. So this may delay the Verse Zero by a week or two.
Once both of these are done, I will be getting a QS ready for Pommels & Paradoxes as well as working on some side projects.
So the website and our general direction have changed over the last few months Work continues on Pommels & Paradoxes, but at a much slower rate. I got on a roll with Skaerune' and have been going full speed ahead on that. I will be making more Skaerune' updates over the next few weeks as I discuss the ins and outs of the game.
I am still hard at work on various games, mostly Pommels & Paadoxes. I will haev another update later this week.
Twilight's River is one of my older games, first come into being in the early 2000s. It has had a few different incarnations over the years but I have decided, when I get around to doing the final version, it will use the same system as Pommels & Paradoxes, i.e. the Old School Engine. In many ways the original TR system informed OSE, so it seems fitting in my mind to do it.
So I am done with Chapter One: Introduction to the Mechanics & The World. It is a pretty short and basic chapter that introduces players and the potential MP to some mechanics. Plus it tells a little about Promethea. So yes it was not a big chunk but in some ways it was very important to the progress of the overall product.
I also have the small introduction mostly done. I say mostly because it seems to be something that will be a work in progress as I go along, not quite done until everything is done.
The list of beasts is pretty much finished. The Bestiary itself, Chapter Nine, will be one of the final ones completed. Right now I am onto Chapter Two: In Depth Mechanics. More on that later this week.
I have finalized the professions that are going to be in P&P. Both the Condotierre or starting professions and the Legend professions, which grow from those basic ones. How one moves from Condotierre to Legend will be explained later, I just wanted to touch base on the various professions themselves.
Condotierre (Starting) Professions
Adept - The Adept is a medicine man (or woman), folk healer, and overall visionary. They have been touched by the divine in some way and are able to channel divine energies. More than that, they understand how to mine the divinity from the soil, air and other elements of the natural world.
Blackheart - A Blackhear is someone who enjoys being an agent of destruction or playing in the forbidden toy box. Other peoples' pain is of no consequence to them as they search through the forbidden knowledge that lies within the world and the souls of others. They learn the diabolical aspects of sorcery and the finer aspects of anatomy and the best way to kill.
Brigand - In Pommels & Paradoxes, the brigand is not a robber; at least not necessarily. He or she understands living off the land and living on the road. They beg, borrow, or steal their way through life understanding how it works better than others. Some do choose a life of shadows while others pursue a oneness with their bodies and minds.
Conjurer - At first, the conjurer is as much stage magician as real magician. They understand people and crowds and how to seduce patrons and partners alike. As they grow, their power in sorcery can grow leading them to become true magic users or perhaps leading them to become courtesans, entertainers, and keepers of lore.
Hunter - The woods are still powerful and magical places. Those who live there understand the connection between the land and the people who live there. Theland gives and the land takes away and learning the balance between the two is at the heart of who the Hunter is.
Militiaman - Even the sons and daughters of the rich are called on to protect their communities and homes. All warriors begin as members of a militia, whether of their city or their family. As these warriors grow, their knowledge of weapons and the ways of war outpace those of other professions.
Legendary (Advanced) Professions
As soon as a character reaches level 4, he or she MUST choose a Legendary profession. They cannot change after this and so they will pursue their own legend through that profession thereafter.
Priest (Adept) - The priest officially joins their religious heirarchy and becomes an agent of their chosen divinity. Their ability perform miracles and undo the workings of sorcery make them especially powerful heroes.
Templar (Adept) - Warriors of the divine, the Templar dons the heavy armor of his order and goes off to war. Their martial skills are powerful and the divine gifts bestowed on them give the Templar potency.
Assassin (Blackheart) - Any person can take money to kill, but the Assassin is a master of this art. Using their knowledge of the body and dark sorcery, the Assassin commands a high price and much respect as a fearsome killer.
Necromancer (Blackheart) - The dark and forbidden arts are quite tempting. The Necromancer understands life and death and masters the dark sorcery that allows the boundaries to be crossed. Necromancers are often hated by those they work with.
Monk (Brigand) - A Monk is a scholar and a master of living on small means. Indeed they focus so heavily on mind and body that they often go without eating for some time. While some do choose a monastic life, the Legendary monks take up their chosen weapon and pursue knowledge wherever the road leads.
Thief (Brigand) - The masters of the shadows and of seeking personal knowledge. While a monk pursues the secrets of history a thief pursues the secrets of industry. Trap finders and information brokers, the thief can be a boon companion. Just don't tell them your secrets.
Bard (Conjurer) - The bard uses his or her sorcery to entertain and gain influence. They seek knowledge like a monk and information like a thief, but they are also storytellers with more flare than violence. A bard is most comfortable around a fire or being courted by the nobility than in a dark crypt but their skills can be valuable.
Magician (Conjurer) - Among those who practice sorcery, the magicians are the most powerful. They have studied the paradox in its raw state and some know its secrets better than the gods themselves. Potent is the magician for she can bring fire from earth and water from air, turning the very universe on its head.
Ranger (Hunter) - A ranger is a hunter who finally has learned the secrets of the land. They can blend in, track enemies, and not be seen except by the most keen eyes. Rangers are protectors and wardens, but also killers who hide in shadows waiting for their prey. They have been touched by the land and often lose themselves in the hunt.
Witch (Hunter) - The Witch has seen the nature gods and devoted his or her soul to them. In exchange they learn not only how to keep balance in nature, but how nature itself keeps the world in balance. They are primal beings who channel the primal divinities through their very essence.
Berserker (Militiaman) - Many cultures embrace those who lose themselves to battle. The berserker is one of these beings who channel the primal energy of life and death into their battle tactics. A berserker is hard to bring down and he or she will kill many before they die.
Captain (Militiaman) - Warriors who seek to improve their minds and bodies follow the path of the Captain. They are trained to be soldiers and leaders of men, assessing a battle situation and moving the right pieces into place. Often they are sought out to lead whole armies or perform great quests where their leadership and knowledge of battle yield great results.
Sean AKA The Dragon has been gaming or thinking about gaming for over thirty years. Game design is one of his greatest passions. He has ideas and is not afraid to talk about them.