Monday, July 30, 2012

Pigboats Actual Play Document

Added a thing to the In Harm's Way: Pigboats page - a pdf compiled from the 13 Actual Play reports of the Alpha Playtest of the game. On some fora, I have gotten some reactions like "how could this be fun?" so I posted up links to these APs from I Fly By Night. The reaction was great, getting some folks who were doubtful pumped about the game, so I put them together in a pdf, spell checked them, and put them up for free download - here.

Enjoy! :D


Friday, July 27, 2012

Pigboats Composite

Put this together for Pigboats - a composite of some of the internal pics. Enjoy!

IHW: Pigboats is done!

Last night, I finished up In Harm's Way: Pigboats. The final things were Index creation and a last spell check. I created a pdf, did a last run through, and it looked good. I need to set up the web page, set up a product page, and load it up on PIG games and OBS. I also need to create the print version, which will need a recompilation of the pdf at high resolution, and front and rear covers. That can come a little later. The pdf should be out tomorrow.

If anyone is interested in reviewing the game, contact me.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Volant Alpha Playtest - Phases 2 and 3

With Phase 1 of the Volant alpha playtest complete, I can see that - while an awesomely fun game - it didn't really test anything of what makes Volant special in play except the Alchemy rules. As Klax put it, "What it tested was how flexible the company and setting generation rules were." The tale of the Assassins could have taken place anywhere. The ships and birds were just transport, and the ground beneath the floating cities was never visited.

Phase 2 will test out the air combat rules, as the PCs will be Avian Knghts of a religious order. It will also test to a lesser extent the air ship rules, both generation and use in combat. The ship rules were written by Levi Kornelsen, and will be a lot of fun to try out! I do need to come up with some "maneuvers" equivalent to those in In Harm's Way: Napoleonic Naval, but that should be trivial.

Phase 3 will center around voyages to the ground, monster hunting, scavenging ruins, and the like. The company will be dedicated to exploration and exploitation of resources. This will test the monster generator, ground combat, and exploration skills.

Keeping you all informed!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Phase One is done, in a wonderful finish!

Just finished up the first Volant Playtest phase. It was an awesome finish! The last three potential victims were going to be in the same place at the same time, in a ceremony making the General the new ruler of Straum. Pherin let off three potions, setting fire to the long drapes, letting out huge gouts of smoke and letting off a third which affected teh minds of everyone there. Sanjay took another potion turning him into a demon, popped back the altar, and dragged the screaming High  Priestessinto the hidden stairway, then closing it before garotting her. Arjuna, hidden in the ceiling of the rotunda, hit the General with a poison blowpipe ice dart, right in the neck, acusing him to go into convulsions. Nadila tripped the Adjutant as she turned to flee, and Kumar - pretending to help the Adjutant - broke her neck as she fell. Pherin, Nadila and Kumar ran out the door with the horrified crowds, Arjuna crawled out a window in the dome, and Sanjay and Geena left via the undergrounnd river. They flew away to the rendezvous on their giant owls as the city rioted and burned behind them.


Next week, phase two!


Friday, July 20, 2012

And another sketch for Volant

This was a sketch I did of a small boat, while on a looong phone hold at work. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sky Ship for Volant

I've sketched up a Volant sky ship, to give my payers an idea of what it looks like:


Monday, July 16, 2012

Volant Moves Into Phase 2 Alpha Playtest

Saturday, we set up for Phase 2 of the Alpha playtest. This phase we are testing the bird creation and aerial combat systems, and the ship creation and combat system. We created a two region nation - Torsina, with the regions Tortuga and Messina - with some fun quirks. Messina, for example, is an Amazonian culture where the women do the fighting and the men are scholars. The PC Association is the Order of the Glorious Sun, a religious order of knighthood based in Messina, so the PCs are preponderantly female. The religion was also created - Illuminism - with a dualist light and dark goddess. We created a large ship as well for the Order, and two flights of Birds - Ravens and Cranes. Then we created characters. This was the easiest thing, as you just slam together a few templates and you are mostly done. Equipping the character takes far longer than creating it, especially with a rich character!

I will not be posting any APs. I just wanted to inform those who were curious where we are in the process.


Friday, July 13, 2012

More on Turmoil In Truk

Pigboats can be played either as officers on a single sub, or in troupe mode, with each player playing a skipper of a sub and as an officer on each of the other subs. Turmoil in Truk is based on the first, single sub variant.

This mission takes place in September 1942. That means torpedoes that don't work most of the time - but no one believes you when you tell them this, superiors thinking this is just like the peacetime Navy and the goal is to get ahead - or who hadn't yet shown their complete incompetence, supply snafus, getting our butts handed to us by the Japanese Navy again and again, and trying to figure out exactly how and where our subs might be best used.
As for the mission:

1: The primary mission is to patrol around Truk and sink ships. The recon mission is a secondary mission, tacked on by the squadron commander. If the PCs just do this patrol bit and sink something, their mission will be a success no matter what happens with the recon mission, and the PCs should really enjoy it.
2: It is driven by the sub squadron commander because it would be a feather in his cap on his way to becoming admiral. He is a dick.
3. It is assumed the recon will be performed by an inflatable boat, not by the sub. This is not to say the sub cannot get in - PCs can be wildly inventive - but it would be extremely difficult for one reason or another. If the sub is detected in Truk lagoon, it will almost certainly die. The water is too shallow and too clear to hide in. Even going in with an inflatable is extremely dangerous.
4. The PCs should know beforehand that this is an idiotic 'suicide mission'. They may just say they tried and failed. They may indeed try and fail. They may try and succeed. It's up to them.
5: Should the recon mission be accomplished, however, we are talking Medal of Honor for the skipper, and Navy Crosses for others. Major league Notice. 
6: I never give a rat's ass what "actually happened" in the war after the game start date. Once a PC sets foot in the world, it's immediately alt-history from that point forward. :D


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Turmoil In Truk

Working more on Turmoil In Truk, the mini-campaign I'm writing for IHW: Pigboats. This is surprisingly difficult for me. I'm so used to running a game from a postcard of incoherent notes that laying all this out in a comprehesible-by-mere-mortals manner is... jarring. As the beta testers said, the point of this is not so much to make a fun game, as it is to lay out how one creates a mission for Pigboats. That it should be a fun game is secondary, but to me only slightly less important.

I am currently working on the Pearl Harbor section. One of the things about any of the games I run is that the time away from the mission is just as important as the time on the mission. The structure starts in Pearl because that's home base, and it gives many advantages:

1: The players have time to feel their way into their characters' heads.
2: The PCs have time to bond with each other before the shooting starts, when they will have to depend on each other for their lives.
3: It gives a space for relationships outside the ship to happen. If there's on thing that ruins the flavor of a game, it's a bunch of PCs who are socially inept monkish orphan recluses whose only joy in life is killing. In Pearl, they may be far from their families, but they may find girlfriends, buddies, and enemies. These things give spice and meaning to life.
4: It gives the GM a time and place to hold training runs, to familiarize the Players with their PCs' jobs under safe conditions.

This short time in Pearl will be doubly precious to the PCs as depth charges rain down from above and attempt to batter their sub into pieces.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

A restart, of sorts!

Sooo - we'll try this. I'll be posting here and on G+, and you are welcome to post comments either place. I just won't expect any here, and be pleasantly surprised if they do manifest. :D

Stuff that's happening:

I'm working on the adventure to be included with In Harm's Way: Pigboats. It's called Turmoil in Truk, and it's set in the Caroline Islands in September 1942. This will be in effect a short campaign rather than a single session game. It has pregen characters which you can use as and if you wish, NPCs with personality and goals, and enemy resources.

Klax is working on a supplement for StarCluster 3 - 5 ships, with floorplans and 3D models. It's designed to show the flexibility of starship creation in the game, so they will be a greatly varied bunch. I have seen one so far - a 10,000 ton resource extraction (mining) ship.

Albert and I have started work on a new game. I have referred to it before - it's currently called "Lowell was Right!" and it's a hard SF game, with the science being the state of science at the end of the 19th century. Development of that science is extrapolated to a time much closer to our own. Elements and molecules are are knots in the ether rather than discrete particles. The universe is some millions of years old rather than billions, and the sun shines from it's own gravitational collapse. The further out a planet is from the sun, the older it is, but life has grown on all these worlds, and some still retain life. The asteroids are the remains of an exploded planet, not chunks of rock left over from the birth of the solar system. Mankind is in space, but so are the other peoples of the solar system. Hopefully it will interest one or two people beside Albert and I.