Thursday, December 27, 2018

Looking Ahead

Thank you all for supporting Star Crawl & Vehicle Mayhem! I'm extremely excited to have both books appear on the Goodman Games list of 2018's top selling 3rd party products. Star Crawl is #1 & Vehicle Mayhem is #6 on the non-zine list!

Star Crawl's been out for a few months, so let's talk about what's planned for the future of Tuesday Night Fiend Club.
  • Games: I'm good on copies of Star Crawl, but Vehicle Mayhem is down to the last few copies. I may do a second print run soon, cleaning up a few typos I caught late & adding the rules for Virtual Mayhem. There are two other ideas I'm playing with releasing in similar format as Vehicle Mayhem, but I'd like to get some Star Crawl material out first.
  • Adventures: I'm currently working on two adventures for Star Crawl (2nd & 4th level). Both will have full conversion rules to run as MCC adventures. I hope to have them printed by the end of spring. 
  • Setting: I'm also writing a sort of micro-campaign setting. It will provide a complete planet for Star Crawl crews to explore, including information on the world, adventure seeds, bestiary, and a hex-crawl. It will also include a new class and I expect to include other supplemental material (such as race templates) with future setting books. I'm also thinking on adding a planet-specific occupation table for players who want their characters to originate from there. My goal is to keep each light and zine-sized. Barring any issues, the first should be out this summer.
  • Conventions: Right now, in 2019 I'm only planning to attend GaryCon. I'll be running 3 Star Crawl games there (the ones listed above, plus a Star Crawl/XCrawl crossover I'm collaborating on with superstar DCC judge Mike Bolam), plus 2 Marvel Super Heroes games (all the games I'm running on the books are listed here). With any luck, I'll have a stack of adventures for sale! 
  • Podcasting: I'll be appearing on the next episode of Glowburn, the MCC podcast. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to talk about gaming with that awesome crew.

Friday, October 26, 2018

On Sale: Star Crawl!

Star Crawl is now available in print and PDF!

Print purchase link (through the Goodman Games webstore)
PDF purchase link

I don't have a method for providing a discount PDF code when you buy the print version, but I'll hook you up if you buy the book. Send me an email (tuesdayfiend at gmail) with proof of purchase: either a copy of your receipt from the GG store or a photo of your favorite illustration from the book. It may take a couple days, but I'll email you a PDF direct.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Star Crawl on its way...

Star Crawl is back from the printer and copies are on their way to the Goodman Games warehouse! They should be available to purchase from them in the next two weeks. Sometime after that, I'll make the PDF available. And a few international folks have asked about the option for print on demand from Lulu to save on shipping: I'll be looking into that as well.

Here are the essential details on the book:
  • $15 USD retail price ($10 for the PDF)
  • 112 b&w pages
  • Full size (8"x10.5") and perfect bound
  • Six new classes and guidance on taking DCC & MCC characters into space
  • All new Race Template rules, including twelve character races
  • New weapons, armor, and equipment with rules for customization
  • Bestiary of aliens & monsters
  • Quick tables to help create new worlds and stellar encounters
  • Includes a full 0-level funnel: The Promethean Adventure!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Star Crawl Resources

The following resources are for use with Star Crawl (available now in print on the Goodman Games web store and in PDF from DriveThruRPG).

Character Sheets

Race Templates

Character Tokens

Ship Templates (for best results print the first two pages double sided, flipped on short edge)

Pregen Characters (stored on the DCC & Friends Character Repository)

Pregen Characters & Ships for Threen Station Zero

Pregen Characters for Electric Friends

Supplemental Materials

Merchant Race Template (created by James Walls for the Glowburn Podcast)

Space Cowboy Class (inspired by Dave Baity's Dark Trails RPG)

Rodent Race Template (adapted from Mouseling class created by Michael Harrington for Dark Trails)

Star Crawl Random Alien Generator Mini-Zine (for best results, print at actual size- don't shrink to fit)
Mini-Zine folding instructions:
Image result for folded zine

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

GaryCon XI, 2019

Event submission is open for GaryCon XI, running March 7-10, 2019. GaryCon is by far my favorite gaming convention: it's big enough to offer everything you could want to play, but small enough to avoid becoming a soulless corporate event. I've attended & run games every year since 2014 and I don't intend to break the streak anytime soon.

I've submitted 5 events so far (and I have a secret project I'm working on: if I can pull it together to test in the next month or so, I may add a session of that, too). Three of those are for Star Crawl (one of which is really just DCC XCrawl in space, so not sure that counts?) and two are for Marvel Super Heroes. Here's the tentative schedule:

Thurs, 10-2: DCC Star Crawl- The Promethean Adventure "The Promethean was once a grand and luxurious space liner and its final voyage promises to be a grand event: unfortunately, it won't be the sort the passengers hoped for! 
This will be a 0-level DCC funnel in space, using Star Crawl rules."
This is the adventure that's included in the Star Crawl rulebook. There is a lot of room for improv & going off the rails. 

Thurs, 2-6: Marvel Super Heroes: Savage Land Under Seige "Ka-Zar and Zabu have always managed to protect the many tribes of the Savage land, but when a new threat approaches, they'll need a little help from their friends!"
For the Marveling at Marvel's Marvel's podcast, I did a lot of research recently into the Savage Land which game me an idea for what I think will be a real good time.

Fri, 10-2: Marvel Super Heroes: The Champions vs The World Crime League "The Champions have built a reputation fighting for justice and freedom across the world. But a secret global crime organization has decided these heroes need to be stopped! Are Kamala, Amadeus, and their teammates up to the challenge?"
I typically stick to "classic" characters for my Marvel games (mostly because the TSR game stats only go up to 1992), but for this one I'll be statting up modern characters: Ms Marvel (Kamala), Brawn (Amadeus Cho's latest identity), young/time displaced Cyclops, Spider-Man (Miles), Viv Vision, and Nova (Sam). I'm only submitting with 6 seast, but I'll have 2 extra characters in case I have any standby players: Ironheart (Riri) and Wasp (Nadia). 

Fri, 2-6: DCC XCrawl: Gladiator Moon "The Gladiator Moons of Chardon proudly present X-Crawl! This premier event will pit gladiators against challenges pulled from across the cosmos! Can our challengers survive the deadliest game in the universe?
This no-holds-barred event will use DCC XCrawl rules in the Star Crawl setting. Characters will be provided and rules will be taught."
I'm working with Mike Bolam (architect of the DCC scene in Pittsburgh and overall badass judge) on this adventure. He and I both plan to run sessions of it during GaryCon: it should be a hoot!

Sat, 2-6: DCC Star Crawl- Threen Station Zero "The Threen were wiped out centuries ago, but your crew has a lead on an intact Threen space station. It's surely loaded with valuable relics: but you'll have to beat the Serpine pirates to the prize! 
This will be a 2nd-level DCC adventure in space, using Star Crawl rules"
This will be the first standalone adventure I release for Star Crawl. Still not sure if it'll be out in time for GaryCon (really depends on how the Star Crawl release goes), but I've run it a few times as the SC playtesting adventure. I ran it last year at GaryCon for an awesome group & learned a lot from the experience: this year it should  be even better.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Star Crawl Space Battlefield

I took a break from proofreading Star Crawl to make a starfield battlemat for space battles (completely unnecessary for play, but I think it'll add something to con games & demos). I sent the image above to the printer  for a test run (it'll be 2'x3'). If it comes out nice, I'll get a couple more made for sale.

As briefly mentioned in a earlier post, ship combat will take place in the round area to the left- each line marks off a sector (used for range & movement: most weapons have range of 1 & a ship can freely move 1 sector in a turn). At the top of each turn, all ships make maneuvering rolls (using the ship's maneuvering die type) and move their ships in ascending order of the rolls (highest roll goes last, so they have a significant tactical advantage: facing is important when shooting). Ships then fire weapons in reverse, with the last ship placed firing first (this should be familiar to X-Wing players).

If a ship attempts to flee, they move to the Pursuit Tracker. Here, maneuverability is shelved for speed: ships move forward or back based on relative speed rolls. If the fleeing ship moves off the front of the track, they successfully escape;if the pursuer catches the fleeing ship, both return to the combat field.

*Update* I got the test mat back from the printer & it looks great! I went through Banners on the Cheap, using the image linked below. I used it for games at GaryCon & it was perfect.
Space Mat Image

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Star Crawl Status Update

Star Crawl is getting ever closer: based on my current estimates, it should be complete & ready for sale by October. Later than I hoped, but I think it'll be worth the delay.

A few updates on progress the past few weeks:
  • The cover art has been changed to the image above. I love my space bug, but that skull's just so much more striking.
  • I've gotten preliminary approval from Joseph Goodman. I'll be sending him a final version before I send it to the printers, but we're pretty much set. And this may be the first 3rd party product to bear both the "Compatible with DCC" and "Compatible with MCC" logos!
  • The book will be full size (8"x11") and about 120 pages. I'll determine the cover price once I have a final cost from the printer, but I'm thinking $15-20. 
  • I've started work on two follow up books: an adventure and a hex-crawl supplement. Based on the response to Star Crawl, I may try to push those through for completion by March so I can bring one (or both) to GaryCon.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Star Crawl Art

Star Crawl's cover image

I'm into the final stretch on writing Star Crawl.With a few tables to finish up, the rules themselves are done. I'm still working on the maps for the 0-level funnel and a couple judges will be running playtests in the coming weeks so I can see how easy it is for others to run. As the project is closing in on completion, I've started what's on of the hardest parts for me: art.

I'm not a good artist, but I don't let that hold me back. I didn't do much art for Vehicle mayhem, just the cover & a couple quick drawings inside. For that book, photos of the board & cars seemed fitting, so it wasn't an issue. But with Star Crawl, I want to step it up, so I've been working on art from the beginning of the project. 


Interior art for Star Crawl

I also managed to get a few players from my group to make some contributions. I can't wait to share all the amazing work they've done, but below are just a couple samples.
Scene by Dave 8Cylinder

Alien monster by Brad Heiple

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Virtual Mayhem

Here's a new scenario for Vehicle Mayhem: Virtual Mayhem! Virtual Mayhem is intended to simulate a car race in a virtual world. The race should move much quicker and be more dangerous than straight Vehicle Mayhem- perfect for a quick game. Mike Bolam came up with the concept as part of a very special 0-level funnel tournament he's running.

Virtual Mayhem Rules
For best results, print out this PDF double-sided and cut down the middle for two copies sized perfectly to fit in your Vehicle Mayhem rules.

I recommend giving identical cars to each player. When the game is so much more deadly, minor advantages in armor & weaponry can be greatly magnified. This character sheet includes two blank sheets & two of the identical cars I'm using for Virtual Mayhem.
Virtual Mayhem Pregens

And, just for fun, here's a bonus play aid for when you roll 1 or 12 on the Virtual Mayhem events table
Virtual Insanity

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Star Crawl 0-Level Playtest

For those in the Pittsburgh area, I'll be running a Star Crawl playtest on Sunday, May 27th at Phantom of the Attic games in Oakland. This will be the first time I run "The Promethean Adventure", the 0-level funnel that will be released with Star Crawl. The event will be great for new & experienced DCC players: characters will be provided & rules will be taught.

This will also be the first session where I test out Star Crawl's 0-level characters. As with DCC, characters start out as normal people, only gaining standard character classes at 1st level. Unlike DCC, most 0-level characters don't have weapons of any kind. I'm leaning heavy into the idea of Star Crawl heroes being normal folks pressed into unusual circumstances and rising to the occasion. The Promethean Adventure is written with this in mind: most encounters will be more environmental and situational. It should be a good time!

The event is listed on Facebook under the DCCRPG Pittsburgh group.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Star Crawl Space Combat Preview

I've done testing with the Star Crawl space combat rules and I'm pretty close to a final version. This is a big part of the rules and a pretty significant milestone in being ready to publish Star Crawl.  

I used the Vehicle Mayhem rules as a starting point: those rules are excellent at representing relative movement and tracking armor damage. The image above includes the play areas I'm using for space combat. The left board would be for combat, with ships maneuvering around each other. On the right is the pursuit tracker, used when ships attempt to escape combat. My goal is to keep space battles exciting and fast past while maintaining a tactical feel. As the rules tighten up, I'll post more specifics.

Ship stats will again be similar to Vehicle Mayhem, with simple "dot" armor tracking as a key concept. To avoid massive numbers of dots as ships grow in size, I've added Damage Denominator (DD) as a ship stat. The size and class of the ship determines how much damage is required to remove a point of armor. So, a plasma burst rolls 12 points of damage. This would do 2 dots of damage to a fighter with DD 5 or 1 dot of damage to a battlecruiser with DD 10.

Friday, March 16, 2018

GaryCon X

Last weekend's GaryCon X was fantastic. Every year the con is awesome and this was no exception: the organizers go all out to make sure it's the best convention for gamers. We had the entire Geneva Ridge resort this year, providing massive amounts of play space.

I ran 5 games this year, and only 1 wasn't full (which is great for a con of this size). I started with Super Dungeon Explore on Thursday.

SDE is a fun chibi minitaures-based dungeon crawl game; I rarely get time to play at home, so I decided to run a session for the convention. It went very well, but we ran out of time towards the end & had to accelerate the final boss battle. Overall, everyone had a good time, but I don't see myself bringing it again next year: it's a lot of gear to lug & the setup/tear-down time are a bit much to rush through at a convention.

One of my convention standbys is Marvel Super Heroes and I had 2 sessions this year. It's the 5th year I've run MSH at GaryCon and I've got a few players that sign up every year. On Friday I ran "Project Prometheus", an adventure set in 1960. An unknown object is headed towards Earth and the government launches giant monsters towards it in the hopes they can stop or destroy whatever is controlling it. I had a great group who totally got into playing the crazy Jack Kirby monsters.
My second Marvel session was Saturday morning. That scenario was set in 1985, with the New Mutants trying to stop the Circus of Crime from looting Westchester. Again I has amazing players who seemed to have a blast with the game.
The old TSR Marvel system is great at swinging between the cosmic power levels of Fin Fang Foom and the relatively mundane abilities of Wolfsbane. Unquestionably one of my favorite systems.

I ran the first Vehicle Mayhem International Championship (sure, why not) on Friday night. The turnout was excellent, with around 17 players participating over the course of the race. It was very tight competition for the top spot and there were some great moments. One player successfully jumped to another car after his was destroyed. He convinced the driver of the car he was sharing to slam into the car that was in a three-way tie with them for first place (both cars were on the verge of destruction & that was a risky collision). But as the car moved, he successfully jumped to another vehicle. The other cars collided and both drivers were killed. Unfortunately, the jumper's new driver was less open to having a passenger: as the two fought in the car, it went out of control and both were killed.

The last game I ran was a playtest of Star Crawl. It was late afternoon on Saturday, prime time for play, and I had a few no-shows. But the 4 remaining players were spectacular. They took the rules through their paces and gave some excellent feedback. I got to try out the space combat rules, which worked fairly well but still need some work. I'll be running some local games in the next few months & should be able to tighten them up.

A big thanks to everyone who played in my games this year: hopefully I'll get to see you all again at GaryCon XI!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Vehicle Mayhem & Star Crawl at GaryCon X

Photo credit: Drawbridge Games
For those attending GaryCon this weekend, I'll be running games Vehicle Mayhem and Star Crawl.

The first annual Vehicle Mayhem "Disciples of the Wheel" tournament will be held from 4-10:00 pm Friday in Forum AB (table 367). I'll have up to 8 cars on the road at all times: show up any time during that block & jump in when the next car is eliminated!

And Star Crawl will make its convention debut with a session of "Threen Station Zero". I'll be running that 2-6:00 pm on Saturday in Forum AB. The game is full, but feel free to stop by and see the new classes in action. My Saturday evening is open, so if there's demand, I may run a second Star Crawl session off-books after 6:00. 

All weekend I'll have copies of Vehicle Mayhem ($5) and the Vehicle Mayhem playmat ($20), so hit me up if you'd like one.

The header image is from my Vehicle Mayhem demo yesterday at Drawbridge Games. Special thanks to Rico for letting me set up and run!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Vehicle Mayhem Playmats

I got some Vehicle Mayhem playmats printed out on 2'x3' vinyl sheets. Each has a marked out play area, plus commonly used tables at the bottom. They came out pretty nice: I'll have 4 of them for sale at GaryCon at $20 each, so hit me up if you're interested.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Vehicle Mayhem Demo: March 4th

For anyone in the Pittsburgh area, I'll be running a Vehicle Mayhem demo at Drawbridge Games on March 4th. Rules will be taught & copies of the book will be available to purchase from the store. 

If you haven't visited Drawbridge Games, it's a great store with a really vibrant community: I think this will be an excellent event!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

New DCC Stats: Perception & Credit

In developing Star Crawl for my home campaign (and putting it to paper for eventual release), I've added two statistics: Perception and Credit.

When running and playing DCC, I (and other judges) seem to be inconsistent with how they handle characters noticing things within the current rules.  Some use Intelligence, some use Luck; some say Int for seeing and Luck for hearing (and my memory just isn't good enough to be consistent). Perception is a catch all for these. This derived stat is the sum of the ability modifiers for Intelligence and Luck. Some classes (DCC Thief and SC Scoundrel) add their levels to this score. 

Credit is a fairly complex stat, and one I'm still working to refine, but the idea is to have a way to simulate the complexities of a modern/futuristic character's financial state without just saying "you have X dollars". Each occupation has a starting Credit Die: major changes in life situation may raise or lower that die, but otherwise it's fairly static. Resource windfalls add a transient bonus to Credit, which will help the character buy stuff now but not necessarily have a permanent impact. 

Here's how Credit would work:
Blutark the Particle Harvester has d6 Credit. During his latest adventure, he obtained a frigate loaded with illicit goods. The judge rules that keeping the frigate will increase his credit die (to d8) and selling the cargo will give him a short term bonus (+2). So Blutark heads to the local market with d8+2 Credit for making purchases. There would be a certain threshold for "automatic" purchases (say something with a value less than half your max Credit roll); otherwise, you need to make a Credit roll to afford that item right now. After a month or so, that bonus will be gone but Blutark will still have a d8 Credit die. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

0-Level Star Crawl Generator

The amazing folks over at Purple Sorcerer Games have been kind enough to add my new Star Crawl occupation list to their 0-level party generator. For now, I've only go the occupations there (no Star Signs or customization), but eventually I'll submit more requests to them. For now, it's enough to greatly assist me in the playtest process: I'm currently transferring 10 sheets of characters to use for 0-level testing. I may even have something to run off the books at GaryCon.

Head over to Purple Sorcerer & make some zeros if you want to start to get a feel for Star Crawl.

And here's the fillable PDF 0-level character sheet I'm using, including two custom stats I'm introducing with Star Crawl: Perception and Credit. I'll talk more about both in a future update.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Making a Road

I'm honored to be featured on the Goodman Games Community Publisher Profiles this week. The post features some photos of the different play areas I've used for Vehicle Mayhem, so I decided to explain how I made each of them.

Paper play area

For my original playtests, I used a disposable paper playmat with duct tape for lanes. 2" wide grey duct tape is perfect for a road lane: leave a little gap & there's no need to draw vertical lane lines. I then drew a horizontal line in marker every 3" for the zones.

I still have that mat and even though I've added another zone since those early days, it's still usable. But I decided I wanted something a little fancier to show off Vehicle Mayhem for demos.
To build my foam board, I picked up a sheet of pink insulation foam and cut it down to about 30"x20" (to allow for some extra off road space). I built a custom wood frame out of some scrap trim wood. The frame is not strictly needed, but it adds stability and looks really nice.
I measured out my lanes and drew them on the foam in marker (a carpenter's T was very helpful here). I knew they'd be covered with texture & paint, but the impression on the foam continued to provide guidance throughout. During this step, I gouged out some cracks and damage on the road.
Foam board with texture applied

I coated the whole board in cheap school glue and generously dusted this with some miniature ballast (basically very coarse sand). If you plan to use spray paint, it's very important that you coat the entire foam surface with glue or ballast: the spray paint will melt the foam.
Using a rolling pin, I rolled the texture flat over the road surface. I then added a few pieces of foam rubble & rock to the off-road areas (don't go too nuts here- you still want cars to be able to drive through).

I then glued the foam into the frame and sprayed the whole think with black primer. With a piece of cardboard as a shield, I sprayed the off-road areas brown. I dry-brushed the road with grey and the wasteland with light brown.
My daughter providing painting assistance
Using masking tape, I marked off the lane lines and painted them on. Once done, I sprayed on a generous coating of matte for protection and I was good to go!

Vehicle Mayhem PDF

Vehicle Mayhem is now available as a PDF through!
Vehicle Mayhem PDF

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Vehicle Mayhem Now Available!

I'm very excited to announce that Vehicle Mayhem is now available for sale on the Goodman-Games website! Head over there now to get your own copy of these insane car combat rules!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Star Crawl Races

Going into Star Crawl, I absolutely wanted to include alien races. I quickly realized I couldn't do each alien as a class, so I had to figure out a way to introduce races without unbalancing the core DCC rules (after all, a big part of Star Crawl is the ability to smoothly move a DCC campaign into space). At the same time, I wanted to make sure to allow for vast numbers of alien types. The solution I've come up with is the Race Template.
While most sci-fi games clearly define what each alien race is like, Star Crawl does not. When you choose a Race Template, you are just picking a broad template of alien: your character is just one of many sharing some standard attributes. It is up to you, and maybe your judge, to determine what this alien race is actually like.

For example, lets look at Lizards, a staple of many sci-fi & fantasy settings:

The information and flavor text on the Race Template give some guidance, but from there the sky's the limit. Maybe you've got a "V" alien or a 7-foot tall t-rex. There are some "Known Species" listed, many of which will be detailed in the Star Crawl bestiary, in case the player wants to go with a more standard race. The judge may also wish to make race selection a collaborative experience ("OK guys, all the Space Pigs in this campaign are like Lord of the Rings Orcs"). And since the Star Crawl rules will be completely DCC compatible, there's no reason an adventurous judge couldn't bring these rules into their fantasy campaign.

12 Race Templates will come in the Star Crawl rules and I plan to include more with future adventures & supplements.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Star Crawl Classes

I've got six classes I'm polishing for Star Crawl. Based on playtesting to date, I think they're pretty close to where I want them. Barring any surprises the next few months, I'm pretty confident they won't change much before the final release.

During early design, I wanted to make sure that the Star Crawl classes could stand on their own or alongside DCC & MCC classes. So while there is some skill overlap, I don't think any of these classes are redundant (with the possible exception of the Swashbuckler- more on that below).

Medic: In Star Crawl, casters are rare and mystic healers even more so. While not as powerful healing-wise as a Cleric, the Medic fits well into a world with high-tech healing solutions. In addition to improvised healing options to patch up characters on the fly, Medics get more out of healing items than any other class. So, while anyone can slap on some Derma-Seal, you're much better off if the Medic does it.
Mechanic: I based this class off the sci-fi archetype of the engineer who's able to figure out or fix most anything. They won't likely be found at the front lines of a fight, but they'll have a big impact on a game. In addition to their repair skills, Mechanics have the ability to understand new and unusual concepts better than any other class. And in space combat, they can coax the ship to perform beyond expected limitations. 
Psycher: This class is the closest to a caster, with powerful mental abilities and weak physical stats. It is a dangerous class to play, with mishaps and corruption destroying the Psycher's mind over time. I'm still refining the mental abilities, but for playtesting I've been using the mental mutations from MCC. 
Scoundrel: Closely related to the Thief, the Scoundrel's skills are less dependent upon Agility. With skills like Grift & Smuggle, characters will need Intelligence and Personality. I see Thief being a commonly available class for Star Crawl, so I kept an eye towards the two being able to work together in a group without too much duplication of skills.
Soldier: While one of the chief combat classes in Star Crawl, the Soldier also shines in support roles. They can assist others with any roll (including damage), increasing their ally's roll by 1 die type. And when Soldiers work together, the senior officer can give bonuses to the other Soldiers. This comes in especially handy for the Recruits a Soldier can gain at higher levels.
Swashbuckler: This is the class most closely aligned with a DCC class (the Halfling). In my DCC experience, the Halfling is a fantastic class and the skillset is great for a fearless hero type. Swashbucklers retain the Luck & Two-Fisted Fighting abilities, but the Sneak skill is gone. Instead, the Swashbuckler can choose a Thief or Scoundrel skill that they'd picked up along their travels.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Star Crawl Playtest Report

I ran the first public playtest for Star Crawl this weekend and it went very well. There's a great DCC scene in Pittsburgh, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Mike Bolam & James Walls. Several regulars to their games, along with a player new to DCC, took part in the game. It was an awesome group: everyone was really engaged & willing to push the limits of their character's capabilities. The 8 players tried out all 6 of the classes & 6 of the races. 
We also got to try out the ship combat rules and they worked pretty well. I'll put up some previews of all this up in the next couple weeks. I don't know if I'll get anymore public games before GaryCon, but I'll continue to refine with the home group.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Star Crawl Playtest

This weekend, I'll be holding the first public playtest for my sci-fi DCC rules, Star Crawl. This is my next gaming project after Vehicle Mayhem. I plan to include new classes & races, ship-to-ship combat, random planet creation tables, and new equipment. For this playtest, I'm focusing on the classes & races as a warm-up for running the rules at GaryCon in March.

Star Crawl Playtest at Phantom of the Attic in Pittsburgh

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Vehicle Mayhem Resources

The following resources are for use with Vehicle Mayhem (now available in print from the Goodman Games store and on PDF from Drive Thru RPG!).

Car Template (two per printed sheet)
All Vehicle Template (including Car, Pickup, Van, & Monster Truck)

Pace Counters (print on card stock & cut out; place appropriate counter on car sheet after making speed roll; remove after car acts)

Pregen Drivers: A zip file of 10 sheets of four 2nd level drivers each. These are the drivers I use for post-apocalyptic Vehicle Mayhem demos & tournaments.

Virtual Mayhem: A special VR scenario for Vehicle Mayhem

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vehicle Mayhem: Printing!

This is it! I got the Vehicle Mayhem proof from the printer today (final version will have an orange cover). I'll be doing a final review for typos, etc. the next couple days. I should have a stack of completed copies in my hands in about a week!

The Goodman Games webstore will be selling physical copies (I imagine they'll be available some time in February) and I'll have a stack with me at GaryCon in March.

It may not look like much, but this 28 page zine this represents over a year of writing, playtesting, rules revisions, and layout. I'm very excited to get feedback from people outside my regular group. I've learned a whole lot from the process, so my next one should go much quicker.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Vehicle Mayhem: Actions

Original playtest photo by @lunarwarehouse
As I work to complete my Vehicle Mayhem rules, I'll be posting previews & details of the creation process. Please see previous articles with the Vehicle Mayhem tag.  

When thinking on how actions would work in the game, I wanted to keep the chase moving quickly to keep players engaged. Each turn is broken down into move & shoot. Cars act in order of their place in the chase (front to back, in initiative order within each zone) and all passengers act with their car.

Where a car can move each turn is limited to their speed roll at the top of the turn. They must exceed the current pace to be able to move forwards in the field; otherwise, they may only move laterally or backwards (and if they failed to match the current pace, they must move backwards).
If  another vehicle is encountered during the course of a move, there will be a collision (unless the target can evade with a Handling roll). Causing a collision ends that car's move.
At the end of the move, the active vehicle (and all passengers) may shoot. Choice of target is restricted by range and field of fire.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Vehicle Mayhem: Car Stats

As I work to complete my Vehicle Mayhem rules, I'll be posting previews & details of the creation process. Please see previous posts with the Vehicle Mayhem tag for more details.

I was heavily inspired by Car Wars and Battletech when working on vehicle stats. I wanted them to have that level of simplicity while still feeling like DCC. I ended up with four basic stats: Speed, Speed Die, Handling, and Durability.
Speed is how fast a car can go without penalty. Exceeding this incurs penalties to Handling.
Speed Die is the die used to see how fast your car can drive in a given turn. For example, muscle cars use a d20 and sedans use d16.
Handling is the DC for any checks the driver makes to maintain control of their vehicle. This includes stunts, unusual maneuvers, or responding to a collision.
Durability is the DC for an opponent to force your car out of control. Larger, more stable vehicles have higher values.

Damage to vehicles is in terms of  armor. Every 5 points of damage from a single source removes 1 point of armor. Once all armor on a single side is destroyed, damage to that side is considered critical. In the next Vehicle Mayhem preview, I'll talk about damaging your opponents.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Legacy of Lethality: 2017 Stats

As referenced in an earlier post, I have kept detailed notes from the beginning of my current Labyrinth Lord campaign. Below are the statistics I've gathered from 6 years of play.

LL Stats Dec 2011-Dec 2017
Sessions Played: 125
Total PCs Played: 117
Total PCs Deaths: 115
Kills Per Session: 1.01
Mortality Rate: 98.3%

This first graph shows the number of LL sessions we've played each year, along with the number of kills. 2017 was a relatively thin year for us (my off-week DCC game has been getting a lot of traction & often took over LL weeks).  But even when considering this, there were very few kills. 2017 was our first year under 0.8 kills per session- we only averaged one kill every 5th session. I'm ashamed of myself...

Putting the Kills per Session onto a graph against the Average Party Level shows the most obvious explanation: the characters are simply tougher. Since the end of 2015, the average level has been above 4. This number even includes "apprentice" 1st level characters the party keeps in tow. Remove them from the calculation and the average jumps to 7.23.

I also track every character played (and killed) in the campaign, including their class & race.

Note that a number of characters have been raised (and sometimes killed again), allowing for mortality rates above 100%.

Survivability is a stat started tracking in 2013. It is obtained by subtracting the percentage of total kills for this race (or class) from the total percentage of characters played of this race (or class). Now that I've been tracking this stat for four full years, some trends are starting to appear, particularly in Race.

Survivability Trends

We're playing with Labyrinth Lord rules, but outside of a few adventures I've written, they're all 1st edition AD&D and Basic adventures.