Friday, 14 October 2011

No More Decimals, Version 1 Is Ready

What?! I haven't posted since Tuesday? Holy crap!!

(ahem, cough, cough) I am the Warden!!

For the past 3 weeks, I've been knee-deep in rewrites for the Optional System. Completely, from scratch, start to finish. It has been a refreshing experience and has boosted my confidence in this game. There's still a lot of work to be done (there's a reason why it's not recommended to design a huge game on your own), but I'm feeling really confident about the latest updates.

On my screen, Optional: Playtest Version 1.0 sits smiling. 108 pages and 50,000 words of awesomeness. It's so good, it requires a made-up word: cramtapulous. Creator's pride, perhaps, but I'm feeling positive tonight.

Still, I'm going to wait until the next playtest on Friday the 21st before posting anything for it, particularly with some of the new terminology to ensure clarity. In the meantime, my mind wonders how to make vehicles work in the Optional System.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Stunts, Boosts, and Blunders

I am the Warden!!

In the Optional System, a stunt is an attempt at completing two options simultaneously. Seems fairly simple, right? Yet no other concept in the game has undergone so many revisions and tweaks or caused so many bald spots on my precious scalp. As the game evolved into a more complex ruleset, stunts became a liability and was nearly cut from the entire process.

Many other games use a stunt mechanic, but these are your typical point distribution. Do this real good and you get a stunt point, or everyone gets to do one stunt per encounter, blah, blah, blah. Not me. I always wanted stunts to be an integral part of the game with inherent risks and wicked benefits, it just never played out quite as I hoped at the table.

Over the past couple of weeks as the latest batch of revisions make it from brain to computer, it's the stunt mechanic which has undergone the largest transformation to what I believe (AKA hope) will be the final version (or final enough that it just needs a little tweaking with difficulty dice and such).

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Redpill Diary #2: Real Men Use Their Fists

I am the Warden and I am Canadian!!

Go Habs! Go Jets! The clock ticks down to 4PM where the NHL finally restores some Canadian pride as Winnipeg has its first home opener in 15 years against my team of choice, the Habs. What does this have to do with the Matrix? Nothing, other than my eye darts to the clock every now and then to make sure I won't miss a beat.

The quintessential battle of wills between Neo and Agent Smith.
But I digress. Today, I want to talk about combat in Redpill (and every other other possible inception of the Optional System, for that matter). Specifically, hand-to-hand martial combat versus unloading a machine gun on the son of a bitch. During my first Redpill playtest (originally known as Matrix: Restoration), the players loaded themselves up with every firearm they could conceive of, including grenades and grenade launchers. Looking over their character sheets today, I noticed none of them prepared any Brawling skills or made any effort to prepare themselves for melee combat. They were expecting to enter the Matrix with guns blazing and nothing more.