It has literally been one month since any sort of “real” content post on Gaming Ballistic. That ain’t right.
There are good reasons – or they seemed so at the time – but still, there has to be more to the blog than an occasional play report and a “work was done” update about the two RPG projects that are eating my time and some of my creative energy.
Starting small, though: I endorse fully Peter’s notion of Bad Guy Rosters from his post a few days ago.
I’ve used these myself, and I find there are two ways of doing them that just rock on toast.
The first is the simple spreadsheet list, but organized in such a way that the order has meaning. In short, if you’re mucking about in a room killin’ monsters and takin’ their stuff, then you’re probably making noise. Lots of it. The blood-curdling shriek of a fallen hobgoblin. The whoosh of air as it escapes from lungs the size of forge bellows as an ogre’s throat opens the wrong way. The dull but powerful woomph of a detonating fireball.
All of these should instantly alert neighbors that fouble is a troot. At least one “nearest neighbor” should go on high alert, and if these dwellers have any sort of communications system (and I don’t mean cell phones, though magical equivalents are great – I mean runners and messengers) the entire dungeon will soon be on alert.
The key information in a bad guy roster is pretty obvious: what’s in a room, notable things in the environment that must be noted, distance to next rooms, and nearest-neighbor connections.
The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; a lawyer so good he can actually prove a negative.
Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer
Dungeon Crawl Activate!
Naturally, Eamon walks up to the doors in the corridor, “to look for traps,” because that’s what you do in a dungeon and walks up close to the door to sense . . . and triggers a spear-throwing trap, which critically hits, bypasses DR, and delivers a bunch of impaling damage. His feet are crippled.
Welcome to the dungeon, we’ve got fun and games. You might try and check for traps, but you’re going to end up lame. It’s the dungeon, welcome to the dungeon . . . . we’re going to watch you bleed!
He hovers himself out of the trap zone. Zephyr goes for healing powers (it’s an opposed roll, b/c evil). It doesn’t work. I do diagnosis and find out he’s been poisoned no surprise.
We get three crit fails in a row, between us and the GM. Zephyr calls for lemon, because he’s swallowed bleach. We shoo him away. Zeke comes out “you’re all wrong about this!” and then rolls a crit success. Merlin jokes that we’re going to spend doom on him to make it a crit fail, due to arrogance.
The poison is from a flower, and is actually an extinct kyberic absorber, mixed with a hemotoxin. Zeke squanders a gizmo to create an antitoxin and vacuum pump capable of dealing with it.
The GM’s Day Sale at DriveThruRPG is going on today! Dungeon Grappling is part of it. Get 30% off darn near everything on their site, including my book.
Just to throw in, you can also get 30% off anything you buy on my own webstore through the weekend of March 12, except for The Art of Dungeon Grappling, which is variably priced and goes mostly to charity anyway. Use the code gmday.
Well, another month has come and gone, and what’s happened? More and less than one would think. I’ve been so head-down in doing the projects that my blogging and general evangelism has fallen off a bit.
Well, the book came out, well ahead of schedule, and in addition to those sales I made during the Kickstarter campaign (about 300), I moved about 24 more. Mostly PDF through DTRPG (15 sales there), and nine more – a healthy mix of print and PDF – personally and through my web store. I sold two copies of The Art of Dungeon Grappling, which is disappointing but perhaps unsurprising, despite the benefit to both charity and the artists.
The reviews have been very positive to date, so I can’t complain about that. Word will hopefully get out, especially as I broaden the applicability of the system and offer more products. Most folks probably just have been so burned with bad grappling in the past that they might not be interested. That was to be expected, I think – it’s a niche product. It’s a good product, but niche.
I will be running a few Dungeon Grappling Smackdown events at GenCon via the Independent Game Designer’s Network. More on that in coming months.
I also released Dungeon Grappling through CreateSpace. That was a bit of a chore, as I actually had to lay out the book again to meet Amazon’s margin requirements. But it’s available as both a softcover and a Kindle book (I’ve sold one Kindle version, and no CreateSpace print copies).
Hernan Ruiz Carnauer is someone I’ve known for a bit. I’ve seen and envied his Battlegrounds program, and backed his last few Kickstarters, some of which funded, others which did not.
This one, though: MapForge, falls into the category of “Shut up and take my money!”
Look at those textures. And those are programmable tiles – watch the video, and you’ll see the stuff you can do.
Hernan has the moxie to pull this off, as any player of his Battlegrounds VTT can attest. It’s already funded, but awesome deserves to be rewarded. He’s very customer-oriented, and I know he’ll deliver.
I’m in for $30. You should be too. These are fantastic looking maps that you’ll be able to whip up, and if things get really good, perhaps modern maps, sci-fi maps, and other expansions are not far behind? That’s the kind of thing that happens if a project overfunds – you start looking for ways to deliver even more awesome to your backers and customers.