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 DriveThruRPG.com!
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.