Tag Archives: rpg project

Cyberpunk 2020 ‘Remastered’

I really enjoy noodling over ideas about how older games could be ‘remastered’ (not in terms of rules, purely graphic design). One particular book I’ve been thinking about recently is Cyberpunk 2020, and how it would look if I were given the chance to redesign it.

Now first let me say that I LOVE the original rpg for its evocative design – but it is a bit cramped in places, and very much a product of its time (not that that’s a bad thing). So, I managed to squeeze in a few hours at the computer last night and designed a few pages (for digest/tablets at 6″x9″ instead of 8.5″11″). The art pieces are leftovers that I had planned for my Corporia RPG – which uses a similar graphic design – but I never found a good place to fit them, and I’m not sure what future supplement I might put them in.

I’ve posted the three new design pages here, though you can grab higher-res versions in a PDF from my Google Drive if you want them.

It’s just a draft, and there are some thing I’d tweak if I were doing a full book, but as a design exercise I like the way it turned out.

Notes:

When I was considering how to tweak the original, I realized that Cyberpunk doesn’t really say ‘punk’ to me as much as ‘cyber’. So, noticing that punk-oriented graphic designs I’ve seen tend to work heavily in black, white, yellow, and pink, I focused on those colors, while keeping the original Cyberpunk-red.

I’m also proud of the new ‘Lena Goldsmith’ quote I came up with for the cover. I think it gives a flavor for the setting as well as the original ‘Johnny Silverhands’, but it scans/flows more smoothly.

Of course, this was made just for my own enjoyment and to stretch my brain creatively. Any sampled logos, text, and such are still trademark and copyright R. Talsorian Games Inc. and respective owners.

The MASHED RPG is now in open playtest

As you may have seen if you’re following me on social media, I’ve finally posted the open playtest PDF for the MASHED RPG! I’ve been working on it for a year, off and on in my spare time, and I MASHED_playtest_v160424_coverthink it turned out pretty well. I intend to run a Kickstarter a few months down the road, but right now I want to spend at least 2-3 months playtesting. I’d like all the playtest comments to go in my new MASHED RPG group on Google+, if you have any, but you can also get me on Facebook and twitter as well.

If you’d like to check it out, you can get the PDF via direct download from Dropbox or on DriveThruRPG. It’s free, of course.

What It Is

MASHED is a story game that you play with your friends. It’s a game that’s based more on conversations than on rolling dice—though you’ll use those too. Everything that you say crafts an ongoing narrative, like a stage play where everyone’s ad-libbing their lines. The rules and dice are there to help this along, adding an element of randomness that lets you succeed in what you want to do—but also ensuring that that there will be consequences and complications, especially when you fail. After all, war is hell.

You take on the role of an Army Medical Corps nurse, physician, or corpsman assigned to the 8099th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in South Korea. It is the summer of 1951, one year after the United Nations’ entry into the “police action” that will later be called the Korean War. It’s a game about medics whose government sent them to a foreign land with little to no military training. It’s about men and women who spent their working hours cutting, sawing, snipping, and sewing up human bodies, sometimes those of their friends—and were expected to stay sane.

This is a game about the value of human life and the stress that war imposes on those who live through it—but it’s also about relationships. And courage. And laughter. And love. Although the medics may spend hours—even days—in the operating tent, the game abstracts these into much shorter scenes, focusing on the most dramatic moments. Most of the conversation actually occurs outside of surgery, in those times when the flow of casualties has ebbed. Here you may fall in or out of love, fight the orders of ineffective top brass, pull pranks, help the South Koreans, pick fights, seduce your way through the unit, pull rank, and more. If you can find ways to blow off the stresses of surgery and war, you might get rotated home with your sanity intact. Just remember
that you’re practicing medicine in a combat zone—and death isn’t confined to the operating tent.

First Look: MASHED playsheet draft

I’m making good progress on my Korean War RPG (working title still: MASHED), based on the Apocalypse World engine. I’m almost finished with the second draft; I just need to edit a little bit of text and include rough layouts of the hospital tents, camp, and both basic and deluxe playsheets. Here’s what I have so far for the deluxe playsheet. Any thoughts?

playsheet_draft2_p1

playsheet_draft2_p2

 

RPG Design: converting Corporia to Print-On-Demand

Because I only have a couple dozen copies of the limited edition Corporia hardcover on hand, and there’s a demand for bundled print+PDF copies on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, I’ve decided to add a Print-On-Demand edition to those store pages and update the PDF.

1

The new POD title page

However, this isn’t as easy as clicking a few boxes and turning a ‘print’ option on. First and most complicated, I have to adjust the page trim sizes from 6.75″ x 10.125″ to 7″ x 10″, and the cover has to be similarly resized. That means that all the text and art has to shift just a tiny bit, so I had to go through each page and make sure everything reflowed properly.

Second, the printer requires a blank page at the end of the book for their own internal barcode – and since they require that the total book pages be divisible by four, I have to either delete one page of content or add four more. Naturally, I’m going to add three more. I’ve dropped in three advertisements (at the back of the book) for Corporia supplements as placeholders, but my plan is to replace these with new Director/GM and player templates and guides, which will also be released for free online for everyone who has the Kickstarter hardcover. This means that I won’t be finished with the conversion as quickly as I’d liked, but I think it’ll be a better product.

Of course, I’m also taking this opportunity to fix any typos or rules mechanics errors that slipped by, and to update or replace some of the art and graphic design elements. For instance, I’m updating the background and images on the “The Story So Far” section so it flows better with the rest of the book, and it won’t switch from a modern design to a faux-handwritten journal style. The text in this section won’t change significantly; it will just have a different look and feel that still uses some of the same art. You can see the title page to the left above, and below are some samples of the (before and after) work in progress. What do you think?

 

2

BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right) – click image to enlarge

What I’ve Been Writing – and Where I’m Going

Agents of Change final coverWith the release of the Agents of Change expansion for Corporia (now available on DriveThruRPG), I’ve wrapped up all the stretch goals for the Kickstarter. It was an intense experience, and I’m glad to now have some time to relax without any deadlines hanging over my head. I’m pleased to say that I didn’t fall behind on any of the announced deadlines – only a few personal deadlines that I’d set for myself.

In the midst of that, I also took the time to write a stretch goal adventure (case) and do lots of editing for Fearlight Games’ Baker Street RPG. That’s now on DriveThruRPG as well – though the cases will come in a separate release. If you’re a gamer and a Sherlockian, be sure to check it out. Note that it does use special dice – I’m guessing those will be available direct from Fearlight.

For upcoming projects, I’ve got several things in mind:

  • a 1 to 2-page free summary of the GRAIL system, to encourage its adoption; I really think it has some mass reach potential
  • Corporia mini-adventures, with a twist on the production and layout
  • a text only edition of Corporia for Kindle and ePub readers
  • occasional free playtesting downloads for rules that might make their way into future books and editions
  • Corporia setting supplements
  • Fate and/or Savage Worlds conversions of Corporia
  • a completely new system involving dice – but not in the way you think (more on this later, if it comes to anything)

The big question is where I’ll find the time for it, considering I have maybe an hour each day that’s not devoted to my day job, my family, or sleeping.

At least blogs don’t take much time to write, so I’m hoping to get back on track for that. I’ve love to be able to have a reliably weekly blog, if possible. I’ve been thinking about my experiences over the last decade and a half in the gaming industry, and I probably have some decent stories and advice to share, if I can cull my memory for them. So, there’s that.

Okay, time to wrap up for today. I have a ringing in my ears and it’s either the doorbell or the oncoming storm.

Agents of Change sample

I just wanted to share a sample of the pages I’m editing for the next Corporia supplement. I hope to have this published by the end of this month. (I’m not sure why the image looks so brown – I think it’s a combination of multiple indoor light sources. )

new pistols draft_resized

 

For you firearms enthusiasts, here’s a look at a bit of the research for the new firearms in the Agents of Change supplement. TKO is the Taylor KO Factor (TKOF) is a derived figure that allows hunters to compare bullets with respect to stopping power. ME is muzzle energy; muzzle energy is the kinetic energy of a bullet as it is expelled from the muzzle of a firearm. It is often used as a rough indication of the destructive potential of a given firearm or load. The heavier the bullet and especially the faster it moves, the higher its muzzle energy and the more damage it will do.

screenshot_firearms

In the end, I went with something much simpler, which you can see here:

screenshot_agents_pistol_table

Enjoy!

Corporia: Boomerang statistics

Here’s a first look at the draft text for the boomerang, a new item to appear in the next supplement. Let me know if you have any comments!boomerang

Skill Rank: 4

Price: $60

Base Range: throw

ROF: 1

Damage: STR

Reload Die: n/a

Thanks to the latest in high-tech composite materials, the three-wing XXXXX-brand boomerang maintains the range of similar sport boomerangs and the striking power of the traditional aboriginal hunting weapon. This item is primarily designed for tactical scenarios versus AUTAC security devices, though a good throw can also temporarily hobble a flesh-and-blood opponent. Color options vary widely, and glow-in-the-dark variants containing LEDs or long-life cyalume are also available for easy nighttime tracking and retrieval.

The thrower must declare (before throwing) whether he intends to strike a particular target (in which case the boomerang does not return) or throw the boomerang and have it return to him without striking a target. The latter can be useful in order to (for example) cause a distraction or to activate a motion-sensitive alarm. If the throwing Attack succeeds (see 4.2.4 | Ranged Weapon Basics: Throwing, in the core rulebook), the boomerang strikes or returns as previously declared. Failed throws leave the thrower’s grip but do not strike the target or return to the thrower (for the direction of a failed throw, see also section 4.2.4). A returning boomerang comes back to the thrower within 1 round (in time for his next Attack roll; barring a Director ruling otherwise). Again, note that a boomerang only returns on a successful Attack roll where it does not strike a target or is not itself struck or held by an opponent or other force.

A target struck by a boomerang must succeed at a [MTL + WIT] check versus a TN equal to 7 + the amount of damage inflicted, or lose its next action. If the boomerang’s damage result exceeds the target’s MTL, the target suffers one wound as normal.