Over the last few days I have continued working on the project I dubbed WR&M Pocket Edition. Initially I wanted to create something which is to WR&M what Chris McDowall’s Into The Odd is to D&D. Alas my first draft didn’t turn out that great. In some places the rules actually felt more clunky than the old ones. And that’s something I wanted to avoid at all costs.
So I started again from scratch. In the meantime I had an interesting conversation with Chris about diceless games. I’d stumbled upon the core mechanic of the Amber RPG and thought it might also work well in other games. That was the moment when I decided to turn the “Pocket Edition” into a diceless system.
I am currently working on the second draft of WR&M Pocket Edition and it now has six “abilities”: Warrior, Rogue, Mage, as well as Fate, Mana and Health. There are no skills and talents anymore, but at least skills might creep back in at a later date. The rules as they are now in place are even lighter than the original WR&M. The magic system is now completely freeform. Players can create spells on the fly if they wish to do so. At the moment the core rules are less than 3 DIN A4 pages.
So, what is left to do? The task resolution mechanic is still a bit clunky and I have to think about how I want to handle NPCs. I like the way Numenera does it, but I might just follow a more traditional stat block format. I guess, I’ll have to have a good night’s sleep over this.
I also decided that the game needs a setting. Generic rules are nice and all that, but I want this to be something special. At the moment I think about a magipunk, swashbuckling, airships setting. This could be fun and would probably fit the new rules better than a standard fantasy world. But time will tell.
So, will I able to finish the game in time? I highly doubt it. I wasn’t really able to work in it for at least two weeks and there’s still too much time. But I don’t mind. NaGaDeMon is all about the fun you have while designing games. Getting everything done in a month is great, but I don’t count it as a failure if it takes way longer than that.
Yesterday I wrote that it was still a bit too early to talk about my projects. Today I think it’s already time to reveal at least some details to you, my dear readers. Yes, I made a lot of progress yesterday. It seems my creative juices are flowing.
First I have to admit that I don’t have one but two projects for NaGaDeMon this year. I thought this might increase my chances of at least getting one project done this year. Let’s hope it doesn’t achieve the opposite instead.
The first thing I am working on is Galaxy Core, the rules I wrote for NaGaDeMon 2012. The game used a d% for task resolution, which didn’t actually make that much sense, so I am now reworking it to a “d20 roll under” core mechanic. I also want to generally simplify things. If you are interested in what Galaxy Core looked like in 2012, feel free to check it out on the Stargazer Games website. Any feedback is highly appreciated, by the way!
The second project is … *drumrolls* … Warrior, Rogue & Mage Pocket Edition. It has been a couple of years since I last worked on anything WyRM-related and it felt way overdue. The Pocket Edition will be a simplified version of an already simple game. The first thing I did was to throw out skills and talents and rework the magic system. There’s no mana anymore, but there’s some backlash if spells fail which cause damage to the caster. I also made some major changes to the combat system. Overall I try to make things simpler, while keeping the spirit of the original game. This is actually harder than I expected, and it may take some while until it feels right. This new edition of WR&M will also be released under a more open license than the original game. It will – if I ever get it done – be my gift to all the WR&M fans out there. So stay tuned!
November is a special month for all budding game designers. It’s the NaGaDeMon, the National (or rather interNational) Game Design Month. A couple of years ago, Nathan Russell had the awesome idea to riff on the concept of NaNoWriMo, but give it a gamer-centric spin.
The idea behind NaGaDeMon is to create, write about, and playtest a game during the month of November. It doesn’t have to be the one game to rule them all, but as long as it works and the whole process is fun, you’ve “won”. There are no special prices, no prestigious awards, but the warm and fuzzy feeling that you created your own game in that limited time.
I’ve worked on NaGaDeMon projects myself over the years, but alas most of them weren’t really finished. I already have some ideas about a game to work on this time, but it’s way too early to write about. But I might be reusing some old ideas. I hope that’s in line with the official NaGaDeMon rules. So what are your plans? Have you already started working on your project? Please share your comments below!