The Splintered Realm

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Michael Desingnoreply@blogger.comBlogger661125
Updated: 1 week 6 days ago

Creativity is a Flowing

Sun, 03/10/2019 - 15:50
So I got a round of stuff done for Sentinels of Echo City, and I've got the next issue of Doc Stalwart's adventures well underway... and I've turned my attention to Tales of the Splintered Realm. 

The three big knocks against the system were that the spell system was pretty far removed from the classic D+D system, that the core rules don't include the 'big four' classes, and that there is no representation of faith magic in the core rules. All of these were intentional, but they are all things I've decided to correct. In creating expansion materials (I'm working on a dungeon crawl), I've realized how many basic things you need in place for dungeon crawls... things like curses, wizard lock, dispel magic, and turning undead need to be in the core rules, because including rules for these in supplements for dungeon crawls creates an unnecessary layer of material ("you can find the rules for this in module A1, the rules for that in module B3, and the rules for this is module C1")...

The core rules can be a central clearinghouse for all of the basics without adding any bloat. I am adding one page of character archetypes, 2 pages of spells, and a page of treasure. That will keep a solid foundational game in place, but only increase the page count to 20, which is still nice and light. 

Totally NOT Captain Marvel, so I don't know why you'd say that

Sun, 03/10/2019 - 00:17

Just saw Captain Marvel with the girls. We all really liked it. Mary and I agreed that the only flaw was the banter between characters - it was clever, but rarely genuine, and sometimes a bit forced. The story was great, and the connections to the existing MCU were well done. On the whole, a strong offering.
And of course, it gets me thinking about how this sort of higher-end super-heroing works in game terms for Sentinels of Echo City. So, let’s give it a spin…
Uri the Cosmic Guardian (Hero 6) Uri, Cosmic Guardian: Resources 14 AC 21; HD 12d6+36 (hp 101); Feat +13; Move 50’ (fly 10 miles) Combat Blast (+10/1d10+9/120’) or Punch (+10/1d6+4) Attributes STR 15 (+4); INT 11 (+2); PWR 24 (+9)DEX 14 (+4); CON 18 (+6); CHA 12 (+3) Traits Flight; Cosmic Energy Control; Cosmic Blast (1d10); Invulnerability; Pilot; 
Pummel (1d6) Talents Improved Dice (x3) Iron Will; Prowess; Toughness Drawbacks Vow: To help the downtrodden Purpose To defend those who cannot defend themselves across the cosmos.

MeWe and Blogger Not Playing Nice

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 13:57
For some reason, I cannot get a direct link to my MeWe account to work. I have the link, and it works when I put it the browser field. I go right to my MeWe. But, when I create a link in the sidebar to the left, it comes up as an error. Help me Internet!

Stalwart Age #1 Now Available

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 00:01

It took only a year, but the first official release for the Sentinels of Echo City RPG (Deluxe Edition) is now available.

The Stalwart Age has its roots in many places. Its heart is in 1980s comics and pop culture serials of the early 20th century. It’s got DNA from Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers. It’s got a touch of Basic D+D, the Marvel Phile from Dragon Magazine, and a smattering of Star Wars. It’s a hybrid of my childhood. This first issue is larger than future issues will be: I needed some room to set up the central story.

Each issue will have an introductory piece (like this one), a short story set in the Stalwart Age featuring the iconic Doc Stalwart and his infamous rogue’s gallery, and some new material for the Sentinels of Echo City Deluxe Edition RPG, providing game stats and rules expansions that tie to the story for that month. And yes, I plan for this to be a monthly release. I love writing about Doc and his world, and I am having a lot of fun fleshing out the history of the world that is outlined on the SoEC (Deluxe Edition) core rules.

Doc Stalwart's Sweet Ride

Sun, 03/03/2019 - 20:35
Here is Doc Stalwart's vehicle, the multi-purpose Beetle. It might even be capable of space travel... I'd bet on it, personally. This, along with several other things from Doc Stalwart's world, will appear in the giant-sized first issue of The Stalwart Age, available next week!


The Beetle (Cost CR 32)AC 19; HD 4d10 (hp 36); Fly 5,000’; Control 24Concussion Cannon (+2 to hit; 2d6; 500’)Stealth Mode (fly 2,500’, Sneak +10); Sonar (100 miles)Aquatic Mode (To depth of 1500’; Move 500’)




Man At Arms

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 00:13
I've got notes going for several projects at once here, so thought I'd share one thing. This is a draft of the human man-at-arms. It's a human fighter type, but Tales of the Splintered Realm is going to avoid 'generic' classes, so this will be one of many variations of the classic fighter.

Human Man-At-Arms
Starts with: Medium Armor, Heavy Weapons, Shield Use, Two Weapons, Two-handed Weapons
Level 1: +1 STR; +1 to all weapon damage rolls
Level 2: +1 DEX; +1 to all weapon attack rolls
Level 3: +1 STR (+2 total); +1 attack per round (2 total)
Level 4: +1 DEX (+2 total); +1 to all weapon damage rolls (+2 total)
Level 5: +1 STR (+3 total); +1 to all weapon attack rolls (+2 total)
Level 6: +1 DEX (+3 total); +1 attack per round (3 total)

He's a high offense medium defense fighter. I think he'd be fun to play.


Mapping With New Computer

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 19:26
So my new Surface Pro allows me to draw on the computer, which saves incredible amounts of time... and allows me to quickly create solid-looking maps. These move away from my Dyson-inspired style a little bit and towards a simpler, cleaner style. Here are a few variations of the map I created for the entry to the massive dungeon complex that I will be using for play testing... I am partial to the final one (black with grid) myself, but I'm interested to hear what others think. It's no great shakes to publish several of these. And yes, I know these are missing doors, stairs, and other elements... these are incomplete at the moment.

FYI, this is the upper tier of the dungeons beneath a fallen temple to Yahalla that has gone through several owners over many centuries. Most recently, this area was the home to a spider cult that left behind a lot of spiders, and a few undead. It's a level 1 area, and will be where my solo character starts his forays.







Magic Redux

Sat, 02/23/2019 - 15:59
One of the things that has generated the most push back from the TSR core rules is the idea that your spells reset every turn. I assume that many people are house ruling out of this… I didn’t want a complex spell chart (if one chart that goes 6-5-4-3-2-1 is all that complex), but it was one more level of logistics and charts in a game that is working hard to eschew those.
However, let’s try some options. What if you get a number of daily spells at each tier equal to your attribute modifier?
The warden is a secondary spell caster. At level 5, with a starting WIS of 12, the warden is going to have WIS 15 (+4 modifier), with access to tier III nature magic. This gives the warden 5 a total of 12 spells per day, with 4 each at tiers I, II, and III.
The wizard is a primary spell caster. At level 5, with a starting INT of 12, the wizard is going to have INT 17 (+5 modifier), with access to tier V arcane magic.  This gives the wizard 5 a total of 25 spells per day, with 5 each at tiers I, II, III, IV, and V. By comparison, a SSR  magic user 10 (the rough equivalent) has 15 spells per day…
This feels like too many.
If we go with the declining number of spells (you have a number of tier I spells per day equal to your level modifier, -1 spell per available tier thereafter, with a minimum of 1 spell per tier regardless of attribute rating/modifier)... we end up with:
The warden 5 has (4/3/2) for a total of 9 spells per dayThe wizard 5 has (5/4/3/2/1) for a total of 15 spells per day.
This is spot on with the SSR magic user, but also allows secondary casters to be useful. I am thinking that the primary casters (druid, wizard, cleric) are going to get 1 free tier 1 spell per turn as a compromise on that spells per turn mechanic I like … so they get virtually unlimited small heals, minor spells, and the like. A wizard can detect magic, cast charm, and cast sleep all day long. This offsets a relatively light spell assortment.

On Momentum, and Blogs, and Community (oh...my...)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 22:20
Hey there! I suppose I should give an update, especially because you all are very patient with me when I simply disappear for months at a time. I'm still deep (deep, deep) into my doctoral program in Educational Leadership. I have finished all of my course work, and I'm now on to the dissertation phase. I have written (and revised about ten times) the draft of my proposal. It weighs in at 185 pages right now, and includes about 80 references in the bibliography. It is called "How Veteran Teachers Understand and Leverage Grit: A Case Study". So, I have been reading and writing. A LOT. I just haven't done any of it in the world of gaming.

I've also been applying for and interviewing for jobs. I've been a high school ELA teacher for eighteen years now, but I'm working towards school administration, so I've applied for about 40 positions as either principal or assistant principal , and have interviewed for a dozen. I've been a finalist a few times, but have yet to land an administrative position. To be honest, it's been a pretty mentally exhausting few years, and I have not had the time or the mental energy to put into gaming.

However, my wife has been encouraging me to get back into it, and every once in a while (like the last few weeks) I get a flurry of activity with people contacting me about gaming stuff. I designed Tales of the Splintered Realm last year as a way to re-connect with gaming, and to do so in a way that is manageable. Then, everything kicked into the next gear and I got really moving on my dissertation, so gaming moved to the furthest back burner. I'd like to correct that. I have written some great games that I really love (especially Sentinels of Echo City), and it makes sense for me to support them. So, I'm going to try and do that. Let me know how that goes...

I had a considerable setback last month where my laptop died, taking everything that I hadn't backed up in several months to the grave. Then I realized that Google+ is going away, and taking a whole lot of community stuff with it. I realized today that every comment posted to my blog for the last five years is gone... so it's a bit... um. Wow. Yeah. Okay.

That said, here's something of a plan going forward:

  • This blog will remain my central hub. I like it here. So that's good.
  • I'll be updating the rules for Tales of the Splintered Realm with any mechanical fixes or little things I find that I want to clean up.
  • I'm going to make getting a few supplements for that game a priority. I'd like to get a monster book, a treasure book, and at least two character expansion books (all about 8 pages long, so no great shakes for any of those) out in the next little bit. The game desperately needs some rounding out.
  • I've wanted to publish a regular newsletter for Sentinels of Echo City that resembles the old Marvel Phile updates in Dragon Magazine. That's in the works.
  • I've set up a new community on MeWe. It will be evolving over the next few days and weeks. Stop by there and say hello if you are so inclined.