High Adventure Games

Meaty Gaming Goodness from the creators of Aega Mythea, HAGIS, and Shadows of Reality

Archive for the ‘true20’ Category

Mash-up RPG

Posted by Adaen of Bridgewater on December 22, 2008

warrior1OK, its time to build the PBP I mentioned here. I plan on doing two of these actually. The second, HAGIS: The Mythos Files, will essentially be The X-files meets Call of Cthulhu. I’ll table it for a bit since its a bit more complicated…plus my wife will be involved. She’s not a gamer as of yet, but has expressed an interest in such a game…in fact, I’m not sure if we’ll do that one as a PBP…It might need to be live. The first will be HAGIS: Atlantean Adventures (Aega Mythea?) and will be  set in the Atlantean world (High Swords & Sorcery a la Bard Games Atlantean Trilogy…with my own spin of course).

OK, Here’s the mix:

The Atlantean Trilogy (Bard Games’ The Arcanum, The Lexicon, and The Bestiary…the last two of those were also published as a combined volume called Atlantis: The Lost World). This will serve as the core setting. It is essentially our own Earth or proto-Earth before the Oceans drank Atlantis. It contains all the real-world cultures all mashed up anachronistically. This is my favorite setting of all time.

FUDGE/FATE – I like the aspects provision or Fate (kind of like the Spiritual Attributes of TRoS). We will be making free and frequent use of  metagame elements. In fact, I plan on the players having much more information than their characters do. It will be expected that player and character knowledge will be kept in different buckets…I’m going to think about how much interchange between these two will be permitted/encouraged. I also am looking at the 5by4 Magic system on Steffan O’Sullivan’s page….or maybe the Magical Medly system…hmm, need to think on this.

Castles & Crusades – I really love this game. I’m still not crazy about the Vanican Fire’n’Forget style magic, but its really not that hard to write that out. The point here is that I’m going to be using class-like structures, call them archetypes, whatever. Pretty much pick a class from any source D&D, C&C, The Arcanum, etc. and I’ll adapt it to our Mashup.

the HAGIS TriDie system – as previously discussed, roll three d20’s and use the median result (unless we have some meta-game funk going on and then either the hi or lo result is used….).

True20 – I’m looking at their positive/negative tags and their magic system.

No Kung-Fu is better than swords crap.  So monks and martial artists are pretty much out for this dance.

As I look at this, I realize that my Mash is a mess. That’s OK though; it was only intended as a brainstorming session. I will work on tightening this up and throwing some of it out….I only need *one* magic system for this. I can always try another one later.

~AoB

Posted in Adaen, Aega Mythea, Atlantean, Atlantis, bard games, Call of Cthulhu, conan, Cthulhu, Cthulhu mythos, d&d, d20, dungeons and dragons, Fantasy, Gamemaster, Gamemastery, Gaming, Geek, Geek Culture, General Gaming, GM, HAG, HAGIS, High Adventure, pen and paper, pen and paper rpg, rpg, sechi, tabletop games, the riddle of steel, true20 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Digging Castles & Crusades

Posted by Adaen of Bridgewater on November 23, 2007

C&C from Troll Lord GamesI’m really digging Castles & Crusades (C&C). It is an old school (meaning D&D/unmuddled-AD&D) system that cleans up and updates the game going back to the original game rather than dragging it through all the history of D&D/AD&D 1E/Basic D&D/AD&D 2E/ D&D 3E/D&D 3.5/rumors of D&D 4E. It allows for a lot of customization and I like that. This snippet is from “The Trolls Den“, the official Troll Lord Games Blog:

 

…Castles and Crusades was designed to be fooled with. We have long encouraged players to add, subtract and amend rules to fit their needs and desires. What the CKG does, is give them some of the options available to them and should (in an ideal world) teach others how to amend rules to fit their needs.

 

In that regard , we have borrowed ideas from every edition of the game and incorporated them into ‘rules sets’ which can be taken and used. The important aspect of this, is that no optional rule exists in and of itself. An optional rule exists in relation to a choice. The CK and Player must choose which optional rule they are going to use because many are mutually exclusive….

That’s great news. I was drawn to C&C due to its familiarity (based on it being derived from old-school D&D) and the ease with which the core system (The SIEGE Engine) can be modified/tweaked/adjusted/what-have-you. As a long-time dabbler in house-ruling and home brew systems, C&C really resonates with me. My own HAGIS projects should interface well with C&C….much of what we do is designed as “targeted tweaks”. Anyway, I’m greatly looking forward to the “Book that until very recently was known as the Castle Keeper’s Guide”.

I should probably do a review of the C&C Players Handbook….and definitely should do one of the “CKG” since it is so heavy on tweaking. Put that on the To-Do List! Damn, I don’t really even have time to play just now…

~AoB, High Adventure Games

Posted in Adaen, Aega Mythea, d&d, d20, dungeons and dragons, Fantasy, Gamemaster, Gamemastery, Gaming, Geek, General Gaming, GM, HAG, HAGIS, High Adventure, In The News, indie rpg, pen and paper, pen and paper rpg, rpg, rpg development, rpg-create, rpg.net, tabletop games, true20 | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

D&D 4?

Posted by Adaen of Bridgewater on August 19, 2007

I’ve followed the D&D development from Purple Basic D&D/1E AD&D thru D&D 3.25 (we’re playing 3.0 with some of the 3.5 ideas that we like and that don’t upheave our long-standing campaign thrown in for good measure). Though I’m still smarting from the 3.5 release…I mean, was that really necessary?, I’m still hoping that the promise of the 4.0 edition (still d20, but different) pans out. Here’s the news of the month for table top gamers:

Gaming Report NewsDungeons & Dragons 4th Edition coming in 2008
Posted 2007-08-16 19:24:29 by JoyceGreenholdt

BREAKING NEWS An Anonymous Reader Reports: by Joyce Greenholdt
Editor, Scrye magazine

Wizards of the Coast announced at Gen Con Indy Aug. 16 that the much-rumored fourth edition of the seminal role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons will be released in May 2008. However, several D&D support products

scheduled for earlier release, including January’s Classes and Races book and the April adventure Keep on the Shadowfell, will be 4th Edition previews.

The transition to D&D 4th Edition begins in April with a new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures starter set and the Dungeons of Dread booster expansion. Older D&D minis will need updated stat cards to be used with the new editon rules. Wizards plans to release converted cards for figures in Unhallowed, Night Below, and Desert of Desolation via the company’s website, as well as updated cards for select “all-star” figures from previous D&D Minis expansions.

For the role-playing game, the 4th Edition Player’s Handbook is scheduled for May release, followed by the Monster Manual in June and the Dungeon Master’s Guide in July, with additional volumes to follow. D&D 4th Edition will continue to use the d20 game system — according to Wizards of the Coasts designers, the 4th Edition rules will be an “evolution of the system, not a revolution.” 4th Edition play is designed to be faster and easier for the Dungeon Master to adjudicate. Each character class will have a specific, defined role within an adventuring party, and the designers’ goal was to give each class interesting options for gameplay at every level. Character races have undergone a similar overhaul, with at least two new player races included in the Player’s Handbook, and the core rules now go up to level 30 for characters; with the levels divided into three tiers: heroic for levels 1-10, paragon for 11-20, and epic for 21-30. One goal was to avoid having a single “sweet spot” — a specific range in levels where everyone wants to play. In D&D 3.5, this tends to be levels 7-13. For Dungeon Masters, the new edition includes new ways to build encounters by giving every monster in an encounter a role to play, and addresses or removes “game-stopping” rules like grappling in combat….(cont)…

A new edition, that seems about right assuming we don’t consider the 3.5 (we get a new edition about once/decade)……YMMV

~AoB

Posted in Adaen, d&d, d20, dungeons and dragons, Evil, Fantasy, Gamemaster, Gamemastery, Gaming, Geek, Geek Culture, General Gaming, GM, HAG, harp, High Adventure, Imperial Destiny, pen and paper, pen and paper rpg, rpg development, rpg-create, rpg.net, tabletop games, true20 | Leave a Comment »

HAGIS: No one cares what the hell it stands for

Posted by Adaen of Bridgewater on July 30, 2007

I’ve determined that too much time has been spent by me trying to fit a witty acronym to HAGIS, my game houserule/homebrew game effort. It has largely centered around the following: “what does the second vowel stand for…and do people ‘get it’?” Is it:

  • High Adventure Games Integrated System,
  • High Adventure Games Invocation System,
  • High Adventure Games Implemental System,
  • High Adventure Games Ingratiating System,
  • High Adventure Games Impertinent System,
  • High Adventure Games Illegitimate System, or
  • High Adventure Games Inexcusable System?…..a la, Ron Edward’s Fantasy Heart Breakers

Let's Go!OK, I know that using an acronym for a game system is SO 1980’s, but this is my game project and if I want to name it with an acronym steeped in not-so-subtle Scottish food connotations, I will. If I want Ninja-Space-Monkey Pirates in drag to serve a critical role in the design….well, then there’ll be that too.

Some of the above proposed acronym definitions were planted just to be silly (and just added to this post for fun), but the bottom line is this: It really doesn’t matter too much what it stands for. It is just HAGIS. What it means or stands for may change. For the time being, I’m going with “High Adventure Games Implemental System”. Implemental, as in implement or tool.

That’s what the whole HAGIS project is all about really, developing ideas and tools that will add more High Adventure to existing games (via the time honored use of house rules) and aid in the development of whole new games. In fact, one of the key motivators for the HAGIS project was to formalize the design of my Aega Mythea fantasy game. It had stalled and I felt the need to refocus and better define what I was trying to do. HAGIS is central to that refocusing effort. And hey, it might actually be useful to someone else.

At this point, I’m using three broad labels for “things” in the HAGIS development cycle: Principles, Ingredients, and Recipes.

Principles are broad ideas that I feel are important to game play, or rather CAN be important to game play. They do not necessarily define gaming Truths (note the capital T there). They are core ideas that may or may not fit in with what you as a game designer or tinkerer are trying to do. If a HAGIS Principle doesn’t fit a particular game, it can and probably should be ignored. An example of a HAGIS Principle might be: “Player social skills should not impact on the success or failure of character social actions”. It is important to note that two HAGIS Principles can be at complete odds with each other. If a second Principle were: “Character Attributes should only model physical attributes of the characters; mental/social capabilities should emanate solely from the player”, it would obviously be inappropriate to try to effect both Principles into the same game.

Ingredients are more specific or practical bits or pieces that are intended to help in achieving the Principles in a game. These might include skill sets, dice mechanics, bidding mechanisms, character motivation systems, player reward systems, etc. They tend to be mechanical in nature rather than based on setting or genre…..though setting/genre may impact on the core Principles that in turn guide the selection of the specific Ingredients. I had considered using the term Elements for this concept, but felt it was more interesting to stick with the culinary analogy. Mmmmm, HAGIS Ingredients.

Recipes are, more or less, collected implementations of HAGIS Principles and Ingredients. They may be games made from whole cloth using HAGIS or they may be existing games that have been tweaked to behave in a fashion desired by the tweaker (e.g., a d20 or FUDGE game with several HAGIS Ingredients added so as to better reflect some HAGIS Principles). Essentially, HAGIS Recipes are finished games that are ready to be played.

I will be expanding on these concepts and playing around with them to see where they lead, all the while documenting my progress on the blog. I welcome any comments or other feedback on this process. And I encourage all of you out there (and you know who you are) to whip yourself up a nice succulent bit o’HAGIS and share it with a friend.

Cheers for now,

~Adaen of Bridgewater

Posted in Adaen, Aega Mythea, Gamemaster, Gamemastery, Geek, Geek Culture, General Gaming, GM, HAG, HAGIS, High Adventure, Imperial Destiny, indie rpg, pen and paper, pen and paper rpg, rpg, rpg development, rpg-create, rpg.net, shadows of reality, tabletop games, true20 | Leave a Comment »

Alas, The Dragon is Dead

Posted by Adaen of Bridgewater on April 19, 2007

Dragon Magazine CoverI saw this news blurb on Slashdot (you know, the Geek Newsplace) indicating that Wizards of the Coast will not be renewing the Paizo Publishing license to publish both Dragon and Dungeon magazines. That’s it, the paper copy will stop. There’s some mention of providing similar content through some sort of online offering (I’m guessing in a Pyramidesque sort of fashion….you know Pyramid….here’s the wikipedia link).

Back when I was but a lad, Dragon Magazine and its sister (brother? Evil, Hellspawn?, anyone, anyone, Pazzazzu?) Dungeon Magazine were sources of new gaming information that were intriguing, engaging, a treasure trove to our gaming, and all that adjectivist schtuff, but were also AFFORDABLE TO AN ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD. They were a source of new ideas to a malleable mind and a stab at authority….Mom didn’t entirely approve of the uncounted hours I spent reading gaming books (maybe it was one too many chainmail bikini’s).

My first issue was in like ’82 or 83. We couldn’t afford to subscribe then (we only could buy issues piecemeal for 2 or 3 bucks at the local bookstore). Later, as an adult, I did subscribe (and purchased the first 250 issues electonically). I still have a large stack of both of these magazines somewhere…..OK, OK, I have a large treasure chest full of them and there’s a stray copy of an old one sitting on the coffee table (it really is a treasure chest by the way).

For all of the reasons I have mentioned and many others, I am very sad to see them go. Even if they will be back in some form online (I haven’t yet fully investigated all the information on this), I still shed a tear (ok, weep a bit in the shower when no one can see me!). Although I have allowed my subscription to lapse (they weren’t really adding anything new for me anymore….and I really didn’t dig on the whole hyper-tatoo, hip, new D&D feel in which they basked), they were a huge part of my youth….my GeekYouthTM. And because of that, I weep for them. Do you hear me? DRAGON….DUNGEON, I WEEP FOR YOU!

~Adaen of Bridgewater, High Adventure Games

Posted in Adaen, d&d, d20, dungeons and dragons, Fantasy, Gamemaster, Gamemastery, Gaming, Geek, Geek Culture, General Gaming, GM, GURPS, HAG, High Adventure, In The News, pen and paper, pen and paper rpg, rpg, true20 | 5 Comments »