So yesterday was Father’s Day, right? Right. Had a decent day – got an enjoyable breakfast at Biscuits, grabbed new shoes, and dropped by our FLGS to see if I was interested in anything. Of course… I’m interested in pretty much everything, but who has that kind of budget? Wrath of Ashardalon? Game of Thrones LCG? Lots of options, but not the most free time. So I grabbed a dish of static grass (which looks badass on the figure I used it on, btw) and FFG’s Edge of the Empire Beginner Game.
You know what helps a lot of people “get” a system? Actual play. I love podcasts for this (I have a fairly long commute – they fit nicely into my schedule), and it’s my main exposure to some of the systems that I’ve studied for this project.
But, nobody’s played Edge of the Dungeon yet, have they? I’ll just have to make something up. But before that, let’s get some terms straight. Unless you’re totally confident with either your familiarity with the multiple games I’m using as inspiration, or with your abilities to read my mind, check out the Edge of the Dungeon Glossary.
Are we going to create a character today? Sure we will. How about your average rogue/thief type character? Let’s do it. Remember, all these numbers are probably gonna change drastically between now (completely unplaytested and completely unproofread) and release time.
What do I want my rogue to do? Control, Protect, Support? Not “roguey” enough. We’ll go Duel primary, Smash secondary. At the moment, this matters little, since I’m just throwing ideas down and assigning arbitrary point values to them.
My brain is a little addled with the mechanics at the moment. I want to do a read-through of Warhammer Fantasy RP before continuing. It’s been suggested reading from a few different folks, so I’ll hit that up. Maybe find an actual play podcast.
So what am I gonna talk about if I’m not exploring more mechanics? Well, a lot of the systems I’m working off of here have some incredible ways of bringing your players’ characters into the game world. D&D 4e brings us Backgrounds (small snippets of story with a very minor mechanical benefit) and Themes (direct connection to game world, with tiered mechanical benefits throughout advancement). For the setting books (Dark Sun, Neverwinter, Shadowfell, etc) this is actually very well done, and IMO blows previous editions out of the water. There’s a lot of ways to tell the Dungeon Master where you want the story to go, and ways for the DM to guide players.
Last time, I said we’d discuss Hit Points and Defenses. Well, I was sort of right. Those are both going to be derived traits from the Combat Careers, which is the real focus of this post. I’m thinking about making D&D 4e style Hybrid classes the norm here. You choose a primary Career and a secondary – certain traits come in from both of them, and then Feats and Talents can be purchased as a member of both Careers.
Looks like I came up with a name for my little project. I’m borrowing such huge concepts from Edge of the Empire and smashing them into D&D – I figured “Edge of the Dungeon” seemed appropriate. Kinda like how Apocalypse World variations always have “World” in the title, or Dragon Age variations include “Age” somewhere, etc.
I’ve started an article on my Wiki for this game. So many fiddly bits! I’ve done a little design before, with Arcana Evolved Saga Edition, but never finished it. I outlined how this system should work from start to finish, but I think I’m going to boil this down to the base, and rebuild off of that. Find the mechanical hooks to hang things on one by one.
So I was thinking about what I said in my last blog post about making my own “love letter” to D&D – what would that mean to me? What could I do to make it my own? I spent so much time playing only 3.5e and Mutants and Masterminds that I now feel so free and open playing and running Cortex Plus, Edge of the Empire, and similar, more story-oriented games.
Who’s played Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars Edge of the Empire game? *counts hands* Awesome. Whaddya think of the dice? At first, I was afraid. I was petrified. Kept thinkin’ I could never live without numbers on my dice. Seriously though, it’s crazy to try to wrap your head around it if all you’ve ever seen are numbered dice. I had to listen to Order 66 to really get it. But once it clicked? Heck, I even made my own dice roller. The way the two axes of action resolution interact with the game is pretty incredible.
So I’ve been thinking lately about getting my four year old son into gaming. I went and downloaded rpgKids by @newbieDM (btw, check it out – it’s super cheap and pretty awesome), but something doesn’t feel… quite right, at least for me.
I’ve been getting pretty excited about the concepts and methods espoused by both Cortex Plus and Fate Core/Accelerated, as well as amazed at the seemingly at-odds simplicity paired with boundless depth. There are also a couple of neat mechanics in 13th Age that I like – and are totally explicitly borrowed for Cortex Plus Fantasy Heroic Roleplaying!
So I backed the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide on Kickstarter. I’ve got the preview PDF (which includes a bunch of nifty ideas, but not all of them). But I’m itching to be doing this hacking stuff now!
A few months ago (holy crap, has it been that long?) I ran our playgroup through a 1st level D&D 4e adventure in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was a lot of fun, and I think the story was pretty neat. As I delve deeper into Cortex Plus, it seems like an awesome way to impart the flavor of Avatar directly into the game, and I’d love to play the scenario again with the different mechanics.