Saturday, May 30, 2020

Tales of the Splintered Realm FAQ

People have questions! I have (some) answers. This feels like a FAQ... because it is!

What impact does size have on the game?

Size impacts hit dice (see the top of page 27, first bullet) and number of creatures you can attack at a time (see page 18 under range and distance). The bigger you are the more HD you have, and the smaller the fewer. You can engage in melee with 4 creatures of the same size; I would subtract 2 for every category smaller, and add 2 for every category bigger; a wyvern is huge (2 categories larger than humans) so up to 8 humans can melee against a wyvern at once. A rat is small, so only 2 humans can attack a single rat at the same time with melee attacks.

Gnomes and stoutlings are medium (but at the very, very low end of medium). I toyed with having them be small and giving them D4 hit dice, but that made them much less playable. So I tweaked the sizes a little. Wood trolls are large (hence the D8 hit die). A few monsters have abilities that vary by size ('can swallow a creature medium-sized or smaller on a critical attack'), but that's about it.

If you want more variety in your smaller folk and their mechanics, it's an easy plug in:

New Talent: Little Folk. You have learned to leverage your smaller size in combat with larger foes. Any foe larger than medium size takes -1 to attack rolls against you.

What impact does armor have on spell casters? Are there penalties for wearing armor?

There is no relationship between armor and spell casting. As a magic user, you haven't spent any time or energy learning how to wear armor or carry a shield, because it's just not your priority - not because of rules. Specific bonuses/penalties for armor/spell casting rules were a little to crunchy for my taste for where the game is. 


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Dungeon Map In Progress

The dungeon from the core rules for Tales of the Splintered Realm continues to grow. I've played through the core rules level with my solo character, and then my daughter Grace joined me as we explored the Kobold Den (the south west extension of the dungeon, that also connects to the sewers). Today, I drew up the eastern part, which is a ruined tomb for those D'Ro who had led something of a rebellion against the D'Ro leaders, with disastrous results. The southeast corner still needs to be added to, with a section that will connect both to the sewers and to a secret door in one of the tombs that I will be adding.

It's a work in progress, and will be added to (of course). I'm thinking that the three components of the rest of level 1 will be the first supplement for Tales. I need to create some new monsters and spells to add to these as well. I might be able to get each one to a one-page handout, which I would think is ideal. I'm trying to follow the format for the first section from the core rules; a few keyed encounters, but also some random options.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Lairs and Locales #1

I finally got around to finishing Lairs and Locales #1 and it is now live on drivethrurpg. I had it done over a week ago, but I wanted to do a final edit, and I have been back into dissertation purgatory this week, since I had to do another major revision. I think this might be the last one, and then I can spend all of my time on gaming material with that pesky doctoral program finally behind me.

I played with the layout, and came up with what you will see here. It's formatted landscape on 8.5 x 11 paper so that it's easy to print now, but also so that it's easy to re-format into a larger book later on. I have continued the visual aesthetic of Sentinels of Echo City Deluxe, so that the two books will ultimately look and feel the same.

Ultimately, I'll be re-formatting some things (for example, all new game rules and mechanics will be in one part of the book, and the adventures will be in another part). I will also be writing a thread that unifies these into a single, large campaign (the Search for Doc Stalwart). I wrote that first hook for this adventure, but then decided not to include it. I need the freedom to create more open-ended environments for now, and then I can add that campaign thread later when I can see all of the finished books... I may want to change the order of presentation once they are all done, and I'd rather not write myself into any unnecessary corners right now.

On to the promo blurb (and yes, of COURSE it is inspired by the Hall of Doom):

This release is in support of Sentinels of Echo City, Deluxe Edition. 

Boondock's Hideaway is the place to be if you are a villain; and the place to avoid if you're a hero. It's a dome that is full of villains that is secreted deep in the swamps. Because that's how villains roll.

This book has rules for reputation, an overview of the Hideaway, six villains for your game, and some random encounter tables to see what crazy stuff is happening tonight. 

As a pay-what-you-want download, feel free to check it out for free and throw some loose change in the tip jar later if you are so inclined. Thanks!

This product uses the Open Game License.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A Few Things

An assortment of things:

1. Erik Tenkar (of Tenkar's Tavern fame) has shared that he has some health issues going on. I am praying for him, and hope you do, too. He's a good guy, and I hope he has a speedy recovery.

2. Aldo created a fantastic fillable character sheet for Sentinels of Echo City. It's linked to the left. You'll want to download that :)

3. If you are having any trouble with your discounted copy of Tales of the Splintered Realm, please let me know (mtdesing at roadrunner dot com). If you purchased the pdf, you should be getting the print edition for a base price of $10. In the 'thank you' message from drivethrurpg, there is a copy to the direct link for the discounted version. If you cannot find that, I'll send you the link directly via email. For some reason, drivethru is not super excited about helping me sell games on a different site. I would use their POD builder, but the last time I tried I found it impossible to use. Maybe it's better now...

4. I am VERY grateful for the all of the enthusiasm and support people have shown for my projects over the last few weeks. It's been a lot of fun to log on every day and see what people are doing with the games.

5. I am THIS close to being done with my doctorate in educational leadership. I am on the FINAL review stage, and have one more set of edits to do to my dissertation and I should be truly and absolutely done with that beast. Whew.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

LULU Update

The print editions are live on Lulu - and just FYI, Lulu has a 15% off print editions coupon ONEFIVE that ends at midnight on 5/14, if you want to take advantage of that, too.

Enjoy.

Print Copies In Hand

A few print copies of Tales of the Splintered Realm arrived at my doorstep this morning! I will be reviewing it and setting up the discounted copy today, creating the codes, and contacting people who have purchased the pdf with a direct link for the $10 version. This book is gorgeous. I'm so happy with it.




Monday, May 11, 2020

Rogue's Gallery

The text for the first supplement is written. It is an overview of Boondock's Hideaway, which is the 'tavern' of the superhero world, populated by criminals. It's got a very intentional Legion of Doom HQ vibe, but it also has its own things going on. The next step for the book is the creation of a motley assortment of villains who tend to hang out in the Hideaway. I've been trying to come up with unusual, unique villains as I go, but a) that's tough, and b) this may not be the place for that. I almost think that for this supplement, I am better off hewing closer to familiar tropes as I stock the common criminals who linger here. I would like it to feel like a combination of Spidey and Batman's rogue's galleries, giving an assortment of level 1-3 villains to throw into the mix. I like the way that Reputation has been playing into my design work; villains come here to see and to be seen, and reputation is the currency of the place. The more infamous you are, the better access you get, and the more other villains tend to linger in your shadow. None of them are the mastermind sort. Here are my rough outlines for some villains:

- A boomerang or baseball throwing guy- athletic, trick weapons, maybe a utility belt, some gimmick. Boom-A-Rang was alluded to in the core rules, so maybe he can appear here.
- Light suit of battle armor with a bug theme. Killer Cockroach or something like that.
- Fox-themed girl with claws and sneak, and maybe empathy or even charm powers. Foxy Lady seems a little too on the nose.
- Electrical themed minor villain (a la shocker). Surge Projector?
- Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, and Jack O Lantern are my favorite Spiderman enemy trope, so I want something like that. Maybe go headless horseman theme but make the 'horse' a sky cycle of some kind? Throws explosive pumpkins. Carries a sword? I could call him Sleepy Hollow. Meh. Horseman of the Hollow is better....
- Just some basic muscle. A 'light' brick who carries a weapon like a wrecking ball or a crow bar or something like that. Pretty straightforward. I could maybe make three of these and call them the Destruction Crew or something. There is the wrecking crew in Marvel, and this is basically a variation on those guys. Maybe they have some synergy when working together? Like they each get +1 to attacks and damage when within 30' of one other, and each gets +2 when within 30' of both others. That would be something, and adds a little strategy to battles with them.