Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Arvandoria and Supers 2E Updates

As I go back and forth working on both Resolute: Supers 2E and Towers of Arvandoria, I find myself in the middle of several projects at once. It’s all good! I have at present three projects near completion:

- A bestiary that’s cross-compatible for both systems. This includes nearly 100 monsters that would be just at home lurking in the Citadel of Tomorrow as they would be lairing within one of the Broken Towers of Arvandoria.
- A collection of adventures for Arvandoria. These are adventures that were previously released for Mythweaver as “sojourns”, but they’ve been revised and cleaned up for Arvandoria.
- The Echo City Sourcebook for Supers 2E. This book includes an overview of a city setting, a complete adventure, and game stats for over a dozen new heroes and villains.

As I work on both games at once, I’ve found a few ‘nomenclature’ issues that I will ultimately clean up in revised editions (a revised version of Arvandoria will be out this summer, available as a free update to the existing rules).

- The “Armor” ability in Supers 2E should be changed to “Invulnerability”. Armor in Arvandoria is an ability that allows you to purchase worn protection; invulnerability is an innate protection from physical damage. The super ability works far more like the second than the first. Going forward, I’ll be using “Invulnerability” in place of “Armor” in Supers 2E materials, including a quick note about this in the book.
- “Fighting” in Arvandoria is going to be changed to “arms” to reflect that this is more about wielding weapons than the more generic fighting ability of Supers 2E. The way the ability works will remain unchanged; you’ll still be able to focus arms on melee or missile weapons.

Also, I really like the magic system in Arvandoria. At some point, I plan to expand the scope and spells for magic, and publish a book of magic as a separate guide usable in either system. Magic throughout the Resolute universe will work the same way.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Porting Over Fantasy Elements

There are several tropes of fantasy gaming that I especially like, and I keep finding ways to port these over to supers gaming in reasonable ways. Here are a few that I particularly like, and how they’re making their way into Resolute.

1. The Mega Dungeon. I’ve always felt that fantasy RPG worlds were defined in many ways by their mega dungeon. For Resolute Earth, this is the ruins of the Citadel of Tomorrow. The Citadel has all of the requisite elements: various factions, tons of different creatures, mad schemers, portals to other realms, strange, powerful devices, and winding passageways. At one point, I toyed with calling this the ‘fortress of disquietude’, but went with the Citadel of Tomorrow for the ‘fallen world’s fair’ vibe it gives off. An entire series could be set within the Citadel, with the heroes trying to recapture this in the name of order. It’s a big task.

2. Races and Cultures. By tying ancient mythological gods directly to the core setting (rather than having these serve as an add-on or a secretive, behind-the-scenes sort of affiliation) I bring that element into the game world. The general population is aware of the existence of Atlanteans and Norse immortals in the same way that humans in a fantasy world may be aware of elves and dwarves; you know they’re out there, but it’s still a little freaky to have dinner in the same restaurant.

3. Magical Items. The powers of supers are already over the top to begin with, so including elements in the game that make them even MORE over the top starts to get a little crazy. Fortunately, the way Resolute scales makes this not as big of a deal as it could be. In many ways, technology is modern magic, and gadgets become the replacement for potions and limited-use magical devices. This isn’t a direct parallel, but it gives the same sort of flavor to the game and mixes things up a bit. With the Echo City Sourcebook, I even toyed with the inclusion of a ‘cursed’ item, showing how this concept could work in supers gaming.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dice as a Narrative Tool

I’ve written about this a bit for Mythweaver, but it bears repeating within the context of playing Resolute; dice can and should be a narrative tool. I’m a big advocate of using the dice as a way to tell the story. My players tend to want to tell me exactly what their character is going to try to do, and then they roll the dice to see if it worked.

I find that games tend to be more cinematic and interesting when the player creates a general sense of what he’s trying to do, and then uses the dice result to flesh out the action as appropriate.

For example, a hero who tries to unleash a mighty blast against a foe, and spends time describing how cool this blast is going to look (including the way that energy ripples across his fingertips before the silvery glow surges forward) is REALLY disappointed when he botches.

The better solution is to say “I’ll use my energy projection” and then roll; if he botches, he gets to save face, saying that his super tried to show off by making his fingers into a pistol shape and saying ‘bang’ as a small fragment of energy sparkled at the end of his hand; if he rolls double 6’s, he gets to use the awesome description he’s had in the bag and wanted to use.

This does two things. First, it allows the player to ‘save face’ by interpreting a dice result in a more favorable way for his super; it’s not that he can’t fire an awesome energy blast when he wants to, it’s just that he was showing off this time and will know better next time. Second, it keeps you from having to re-envision a previous description because the dice don’t support the way the action was described; you can safely describe the incredible energy blast, because the dice already told you it was awesome.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Referee's Guide

I finished work today on the revision draft of the Referee’s guide for Reckoning Supers 2E. It should be up by the weekend. During editing, I realized that the bulk of the book is not so much a Resolute-specific guide as it is a guide for referees for running supers games using any system. I hope that the guide has some crossover appeal, and that referees for other supers systems will pick it up, and maybe even think about giving Resolute 2E a second look.

Hey, it can’t hurt.

The Referee’s Guide to Resolute Supers 2E will be 9 pages for $1, posted on RPGNow within the next few days.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Background and Expansion

In the previous edition, I focused on providing a complete game system with few loose ends. The goal was for everything you needed to be in the core package. With this version, I’ve kept that same concept in mind, but also thought about how and where the game will grow going forward. 2E has more abilities, more combat options, and more background information on the game world- but it also leaves more open for further development. I’ve got an aggressive schedule in mind for additional game resources, and the framework that’s in place provides a logical map for the first set of supplements. With this edition, I’ve endeavored to include a stronger path to extended play, and the supplements are going to further develop Resolute as a long-term, campaign-style game, whereas the previous edition was better-suited to pickup games or a handful of sessions.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Off the Grid

We've been moving for the last week, so I've been hit and miss in terms of my online presence... and tonight, I learned that my e-mail address didn't move with me! Eek! If you have had an e-mail bounced back to you, don't fret. I haven't closed up shop- just taking a few extra days to get settled into the new homestead, and roadrunner is taking a few extra days to transfer my e-mail accounts over. I expect to be rocking out Resolute stuff in the next week or two. Thanks to everyone who has purchased Resolute 2E, and keep checking in.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Thanks to everyone who has dropped by and picked up Resolute 2E. It's currently #3 on RPGNow's sales chart... only two spots behind ICONS. I had no idea that ICONS was coming out the same day (I think it listed within about ten minutes of Resolute Supers 2E), but there's nothing like some healthy competition to keep everyone sharp.

I'd love to hear your comments/thoughts on the game as you dive in. Also, don't be shy about talking the game up on message boards- I plan to!

Thanks again.