Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Quick Post on StarCluster 4 Progress

I have finished all 6 Skill pages - Strength-based, Coordination-based, Agility-based, Endurance-based, Charisma-based, and Intelligence-based.

Now I have started work on the Resolution Mechanic pages. What do you think about this?

Friday, October 30, 2015

High Strung Revised to be Released by Precis Intermedia

High Strung has been relaid out, edited and put into a new form factor, preparing for release this weekend by Precise Intermedia Games. I am very pleased by the new edition, which is mechanically identical to the current version. It looks sweet - really kickass! Precis Intermedia is releasing High Strung Revised as both pdf and print. I will be selling the pdf only though OBS - RPGNow/DriveThruRPG - while the print version and print+pdf bundles will be sold through the Precis Intermedia site. Previous purchaser of the pdf through OBS will get a a coupon, good for the price difference between the old pdf and new pdf.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Skill Presentation in StarCluster 4

Here's how I am thinking of presenting skills for StarCluster 4. There would be six of these, one for each Attribute. Theses are Strength Based Skills.

This is a huge departure for me, trying something radically different.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wherein my Plans for The StarCluster 4 Big Book o' Possibilities are Revealed

Imagine this: You go to a website and are presented with a page of choices. You have a choice of chargen and skill-handling method. You select broad skills with specializations, and stacking templates for Far Future times. For Resolution Mechanics, you choose StarNova because you like d6 additive dice pools with exploding sixes. You check off Far Future Vehicles and Starships, because you envision a lot of space travel. You then select a setting, one where humans are just exploring and know nothing. You name your grouping, select DONE, and receive a pdf, ready to print. It's basically a custom designed game, based on what you are interested in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Battle of the Bands for High Strung - Oooops!

Went camping this weekend with El Zambo and Klaxon. Among other things, we decided to play the Battle of the Bands one shot adventure for High Strung and had an absolutely awesome time. They loved playing 16-17 year olds living at home and under the parental yoke. Unfortunately, we couldn't finish the Battle of the Bands! Not due to time, but because the pdf was screwed up! This is the pdf I had put up for download at RPGNow and etc. There were several problems with it, and it is because I was not careful.

First off, I had created it from an older, in process source document, so there weer some minor fixes that never got into the pdf, like TNs for the competing bands. Second, and most important, the pre-gen characters tacked on at the end had slipped position and were covering two pages of text! Apparently, I had not checked the pdf after generating it.

I fixed the pdf so it now is updated and the pregens are where I put them. I uploaded, then downloaded the new file to be sure, and it is fine. I beg anyone who has bought the adventure to redownload it! Please! it is unplayable at the end!

El Zambo and Klaxon had so much fun - we played the end after we got home from the camping trip - that they want to keep on with the band and see where it goes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

StarCluster 4 - The Core Book - A Modest Proposal

The Core Book will be an extremely focused implementation or instantiation of the full rules. It will contain:

A Chargen section with Template Trees - maybe six or so - focused on producing characters for the given setting. Each Template Tree is a page, with a master page.
A choice of 4 species - Human, Jeshen, and 2 Other Aliens, at one page each.
A limited selection of equipment, focused on the scenarios included. There will be several related bits of equipment per page, probably a dozen pages at most.
A single page with general resolution rules
A single resolution system - probably StarPool. One page.
A list of skills and how to use them. One page per linked Attribute - i.e. STR based skills, AGY based skills, etc - and one master page. Seven pages altogether.
A section on the pre-generated ship, one page per section - bridge, quarters, drives, weapons, etc. Probably about 6-8 pages.
A character sheet with one page character worksheet.
A small selection of space suits/armors as appropriate. One page per suit, with one master page, Five or six pages total.
A one page map of Jeshen Space.

Three scenarios, separated in time and place, linked by the spaceship, which is owned in turn by three different Associations. Each Scenario will have:

An Association to which the characters belong. One page.
A stellar system map in which the scenario takes place. One page.
One page descriptions of each important world in the system. Total varies. Say one to three.
Scenario Setup. One page.
Two to four factions involved in the scenario, one page for each faction, with a second page each devoted to important individuals and a standard mook for that faction.
A default timeline for _'if things are not changed by the PCs'_ events. This is *expected* and *desired* to not happen as planned!

Hyperlinked Metainformation

There will be an unknown amount of metainformation, almost all concerning how this feature or that feature was constructed from the greater cloud of options available. This metainformation will be a separate document, so the Core can be printed out/read without the metainformation.

This gives me *very* little wiggle room, which may, in fact, be desirable.


Monday, October 5, 2015

StarCluster 4 Skills

Friday night and Saturday I refined the StarCluster 4 skill list down to 24 base skills, making sure that each Attribute had four skills, and each skill in the StarCluster 3 skill set (94 skills) could be expressed as a field of expertise within the StarCluster 4 skill set. In doing this, some surprising combinations have occurred - Baking and Demolitions are fields of Discipline, for example - but they all make sense, Baking and Demolitions both require precise measurement, the ability to follow directions perfectly, and self-discipline.

In StarCluster 4, base skills cannot progress above rank +2. if you raise the rank of a base skill to +3 or beyond, it becomes a narrower Field of Expertise within the skill. You can name the field yourself, or choose one of the example field names. Example: Science+2 becomes Science +2 (Biology+3).

StarCluster has always had a large, center defined, and overlapping skill set. Now it will have a small, center defined, and overlapping skill set.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Merchanters And Stationers Spyrates Game

Had a really good session of Merchanters and Stationers tonight! They were poking around on Rela Station - a Malamo Station being unofficially taken over by Trissein - getting information - doing well too, when one of the crew bought a dress for his girlfriend, Peony, the human. Peony was secret - both the Rassa and the Trissein were after her - so he told the tailor that she was a doll, implying she was a sex doll. The tailor made a virtual model of Peony's body - humans weren't in the database - and created a beautiful dress, using the dress and model in his holographic advertising.

By the time the crew knew of this, the Trissein and Rassa had both learned of her being on the Mad Prince, and some Rassa almost caught one of the crew trying yo get back. He was a geek, though, and hacked into the hull breach alarm, and the Rassa were swept up in the rush.

The Trissein Assistant Stationmaster tried to hold him, but the exec had caught a Rassa prisoner for the Captain to interrogate, and the Captain ordered the prisoner sealed in a cargo can and left on the dock. He told the Assistant Station Master that Peony was in the can, and traded the access code for permission to get away.

The Mad Prince made a strung jump out - a jump with no slowdown in the destination jump point, followed with a second jump. This plays hell with stress - the Exec was hallucinating the Captain giving her orders, some of them paranoid, and she was one of the four who had to be drugged out and locked into the autodocs. The session ended with the Mad Prince hiding amongst the moons of the Jump Point's rogue gas giant, trying to get the crew unstressed enough to continue.