Friday, 19 October 2012

The Power of Morality

I am the Warden!!

What makes us tick? 

Not physically, but morally and psychologically. What is it about a person that defines their personality and gives them reason to do what they do? How does that translate into a character and her actions?

It's an idea I'm somehow stuck on for an unnamed project and it's stuck deep. So deep that I have to turn to my blog to keep all those thoughts can be sorted out and put on record for future use. The rest of the project will have to remain veiled, not because I'm trying to being mysterious (though it certainly doesn't hurt) but because it's not ready to be revealed. (Ok, now I'm being really mysterious, so let's just move on before I get off topic.)

There have been a lot of great advancements in game mechanics with regards to incorporating character morality into the mix. From a simplified recommendation affecting only a couple of classes' choices (D&D alignments, which could affect the types of spells they could cast or cause a paladin to become a shamed fighter) to the Plot Points of the Cortex system from Margaret Weis Productions, many games are finding a way to have a character's personality give rise to mechanical bonuses, abilities, and dice. 

That's what I'm wondering about right now. How is there a way to insert something like into the Optional System? 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Reloading Killshot: Let's Get Mystical

I am the Warden!!

With tentative plans to run a little Way of the Killshot playtest, I spent some time last week working on ninjas. It's what I love about this line of work. I get to sit around and play with ninjas all day. Then break for lunch.

While the playtest never worked out, it gave me the excuse to crack down on how I wanted my Killshot ninja to look and feel. During my initial research, I found out there are two versions of these historical assassins: actual and made-up. What we consider to be the quintessential ninja is a modern, mythological version dressed head to toe in black save for eye slits is pretty far from the truth. Real ninja disguised themselves as yamabushi, or pilgrims, and ambush their marks out in the open. They were more like suicide bombers of today than the masters of darkness rumors may them out to be. Luckily, Killshot is not about historical accuracy and I wanted to present the mythological ninja for this theme.

What I didn't expect was dabbling in the most obscure and unrealistic aspect of the ninja: magic. During my initial research into the ninja, plenty of references were made to the belief in their supernatural powers granted or taught to them by the tengu, half-man and half-crow mystics dwelling in the mountains. Even many modern films and stories portray them as magical beings able to disappear into thin air (even without the iconic smoke bomb) or heal massive amounts of damage with nothing more than meditation (as seen in the recent film, Ninja Assassin). Even in my first impression of the ninja as a child, the classic B-film American Ninja with Michael Dudikoff, he was able to vanish in plain sight by the end.