Friday, November 8, 2013

Holy Improvised Weapons! - Mad Skills and Door Traps

I'm currently reading Mad Skills by Walter Greatshell.

Basic plot - young girl has an accident that causes severe brain damage. Parents sign her up for an experimental treatment that turns her into a super genius. Unfortunately, the group that offered the treatment is super shady(surprise!). They can use her implant to hack her brain and use her as an assassin. She figures out that something is wrong and escapes.

That is as far as I've gotten. It's an okay read but it is getting to a level of weird that I'm not enjoying. One thing that is really interesting is how the author shows her struggle to reconcile the memories and personalities of the three different people she has been; the Maddy before the accident, damaged Maddy and the Maddy after treatment who doesn't fully realize she's now a genius, just that something is different.

Another cool thing about the book is how the main character uses her super brain to create improvised weapons. Some of these could be really awesome to use in a modern game.

The first one she makes is a trap for a door.

"She yanked open the medicine cabinet... - then grabbed a toenail clipper. As heavy boots squish-squashed toward her across the wet carpet, Maddy used the clipper to strip the wires from a curling wand, then twined the bare wires around the brass doorknob and plugged it in. Someone grabbed the knob. There was a bright blue spark and a loud snap, then a scream and a bone-jarring crash."

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I've been playing around with different photo editing software trying to find something I liked to handle graphic design.

I didn't have much luck. They were either too complicated or didn't do enough.

The most recent one is Pixlr. It is a free online photo editor. So far I really like it.

Here's what I did with it:

I'm thinking about using it as the logo for my steampunk setting.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Power 19: The Big Three

In an effort to really help me clarify my ideas, I'm going to answer the Power 19, starting with The Big Three.

1.) What is your game about?

Creating a group of characters with both group and individual goals then having the characters attempt to complete those goals.

2.) What do the characters do?

Attempt to complete their goals through whatever means they deem acceptable.

3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?

The group (including the GM):
Pick a setting, create a group concept and goals for the group.

The players:
Create characters, with their own individual goals, that fit within the group concept. The players then direct their characters through the game world while they attempt to complete their goals. Each player can have multiple characters in a group but can only have one active character at a time during play.

The GM:
Create the game world with assistance from the players and game materials. Determine the difficulties of attempted skill checks with assistance from the game guidelines. Portray entities encountered during play.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Refining my Vision

Besides the RL issues, part of my absence has been due to block. Not exactly writer's block, more like I'm-sick-of-looking-at-this block. I had gotten so frustrated with my game that my brain would shut down every time I looked at the files. In an effort to keep from returning to that state, I've decided to more or less scrap that design and start over. I've been taking it easy. It has mostly all been mental work so far. I spend time really thinking about what I want to accomplish and how to go about doing it. I have a document that I type my ideas into but that's it so far. I have a pretty strong picture of what I want but I really want to clarify it.

This whole thing stemmed out of my frustration with the D20 system. Whenever I came up with a character concept, I couldn't get a good fit with any of the classes. I learned to settle on close enough or, more often, just picked a combination of class, feats and skills that I liked or felt would be most useful and didn't worry about anything else.

In general, I'm trying to design the system that I want to play.

More specifically:
  • I want completely customizable characters and fluid game play.
  • The system will be universal and character oriented. 
  • Advancement will be based on completing goals related to character concepts, not killing things.
  • Resolution will have more emphasis on skill than luck.
  • Anybody can attempt anything, training will determine success.
  • I want to make combat more engaging and natural feeling, not just attack/apply damage/next player.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Apocalypse Prep #1

Your first best tool is you.

This guy has a series of tutorials to help people get started.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Iron Man 3

Watched Iron Man 3 recently. It was a fun movie but something about it just didn't sit right with me.

I really hated the ending. Mostly just the blowing up all the suits bit. That made no sense at all. Even with all the suits he almost lost and he would have if his recently superfied girlfriend hadn't helped out. After a fight like that, you don't blow up the method with which you fight the bad guys.

If he doesn't have a suit, just what is he going to do in the next Avengers? An argument can be made that this is Tony, he goes for extravagant displays, but I don't think it's a good enough justification.

Didn't really enjoy the closing credits, either. You can tell someone involved with the production was a fan of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. While it was a good movie, this is Iron Man. Superheroes not spy noir.

Also, it felt just a little too much like a wrap up. I really don't like the flogging-a-dead-horse trend going on but I will be sad if there are no more Iron Man movies.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Real life decided to be a serious jerk and I needed some time to recover but I finally feel like I can put some energy into this again. I'm going to be changing things up. New name, maybe a new look and I won't be strictly focusing on RPGs. First thing, I will be editing some of my old posts and then I hope to get out some new and interesting ones. Maybe I'll even attract a reader or two...