HAGIS: No one cares what the hell it stands for

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

Zmesh – An Online Gaming Tool of Epic Proportions

HAL-9000 is watching youTo be truthful, Zmesh by www.zullotech.com is more than just a gaming tool….its an online collaboration solution. The hell with all that; this is my fun time. We only care about the fun. Let’s talk about its utility in terms of gaming.

We at HAG have been using it as a play testing tool for Shadows of Reality; and it has been working really well. It allows us to share control of a workspace, including files, a gameboard, voice-over-internet, etc. all with super-encryption. I recommend that you check it out. Here’s the info from the website:

ZMesh Image BetaGet Secure Remote Connection and Collaboration with Zmesh



Zmesh is the fast, easy and secure way to communicate and collaborate from any workstation in real time.

  • Access files, programs, email, and network

  • Increase your flexibility and productivity
  • Work on your office PC from home
  • Travel and use your PC remotely
  • Collaborate online with colleagues or customers
  • Audio & Video conferencing and streaming

A few caveats:

  • Zmesh is in Beta. Changes/Improvements/Tweaks are ongoing
  • My friend, Zullo, is the man behind the myth; he’s the creator of Zmesh
  • ZulloTech is offering lapdances to Betatesters….This is not a good thing.

~Adaen of Bridgewater

High Adventure Games: The HAG’s Blog Anniversary Passeth

HAGGreetings All,

Though High Adventure Games has been on the web in some form or other for many years, for most of that time, its been pretty half-assed (I’ve got to be honest here). That being said, I feel that the current site is coming along nicely.

Back in Jan 2006, I remarked that I wasn’t sure I’d like this whole Blogging thing. I’m happy to report that I do enjoy it, though I still stuggle to devote as much time to it as I would like. 2007 is gearing up to be an exciting year for HAG:

  • More Website/Blog Developments – Artwork, Reviews, etc.
  • HAGIS is coming – I’m working on the reference document for publication on the site
  • Aega Mythea development (using HAGIS as a base) continues…Updates will be more frequent….Look for some play test results before too long
  • Shadows of Reality – well, Shadows has really been coming into its own. Doc Pazzazzu has been slaving over it and play tests have been very productive in refining the game. You’re likely to read more buzz on SoR very soon.

Thanks for reading. Be sure to drop us a line.

~Adaen of Bridgewater, High Adventure Games.

mmm yeah….this looks like quite a party

Doc Pazzazzu made this for Shadows of Reality. Cultists can really be a bitch to deal with. Apparently, this one wasn’t expecting any company or he might have dusted and vacuumed….or at least picked up the panties of his victim off the floor.