Sunday, 29 January 2017

New Digs!

Hi everyone!

It seems like an age since I was last here, but boy does it feel good to be back in the blogging game.

But where did I go?

Not far really. I just decided that I needed a break as the writing wasn't coming easy, and I felt that I was pushing myself too hard. Something I think that we've all done at some point in our life. It also certainly didn't help that there were a lot of outside influences exerting pressure upon me. Again, something that I think many of us can relate to. Sometimes life just gets in the way of what you want to do!

But I'm back again.

Full of fresh ideas, and with a brighter, breezier outlook on life in general.

There has however been a change of address. I am now located over at Meeple Merson, where I hope that you will join me.

The format is going to be much the same as it was here, but with a few additions. There will still be plenty of Tunnels & Trolls content, but I've also decided to take up the 10 x 10 Challenge; which I am currently blogging about. I've also decided to go with a much wider scope for the new blog; talking about life, better living, and some of the technical skills I've picked up since I last put finger to keyboard here.

There will also be additional content about movies, TV, video games, book, and anything else that piques my interest.

It should make for a much richer tapestry, and hopefully; some interesting reading. :0).

Hope to see you all there!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Print And Play Gaming: My New Passion

Okay, passion may be a bit of a strong word, but I am certainly getting a kick out of it. It's not exactly new to me either.

I have been playing them in dribs and drabs for sometime, but the effort that it took to actually produce some of them didn't seem worth it in the return that you got from gameplay. Don't get me wrong, these are free print and play games that we are talking about but, free shouldn't mean poor quality.

For clarity though, I'm not using quality as a measure of a games aesthetics, but rather the quality of the game overall. Has it been well thought out? Do the mechanics work? Does the game still have bugs? These are all things I consider when weighing up whether or not to print out a print and play project.

As well as quality, design is also a big consideration when I'm looking at a print and play project. I don't think that anyone wants to be sitting there printing and trimming reams of paper / card and, preparing specialised components (I certainly don't).

So when designing a game, keeping it brief and the use of common components (such as standard D6 etc) are big pluses in the print and play arena. They are big considerations for me at least. Also as I plan to start reviewing the print and play games that I play, it seems only fair to have a set of common considerations to measure them by. Factors that I think matter to the player.

Friday, 14 June 2013

An Amazing Month!

It's taken a while to get around to this, but a short break before work is plenty
enough to report back that last month, was an amazing month for the blog :0).

In fact, we broke all previous records for the number of folks visiting us by a clear 600 visits, over which I am quite stoked. Veteran bloggers may think, "well, that's not much" but, when you put that in the context of the relative youth of this blog and the previous record of 1,435; it's pretty damn impressive!

So, as ever, a big thank you to everyone that's dropped by. :0).

By this point, I imagine that at least a few of you are beginning to wonder, why exactly I am so obsessed with the figures? Let me say, it's more than a measure of success. Sure, I love to see that hit counter running up, it's a sign that I'm delivering content that you want, but it's also through the figures that I get a good idea of what's not working. Knightmare Re-Run being the most recent example.

Personally, I quite enjoy the show but, the subject as a whole has garnered little to no interest here. So, I figure, why waste space? If there's no audience for the content, then there's very little point in continuing to run it. The figures (and of course any comments you leave) are very important with this kind of trending, especially when I consider that the blogs remit is as wide a field as "gaming".

That's a whole lot of subject matter, and I only want to deliver the best.

As a result things are pretty much always up in the air here. It's not a bad thing. It just means that we're still feeling our way. Eventually we'll likely settle into a few regular features.. Once we work out what they should be.

So have your say! If there's something you like, dislike, would like to see or, like to see consigned to oblivion. Feel free to drop us a comment, they're always welcome.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Another Break

The 13th of the month and, only just getting the first post in.. Oh dear.

In fairness it was pretty much unavoidable though. All the rabid running around of the past month or so (both in and out of work) took it's toll, and facing absolute burn-out I took some downtime.

In truth, I am still physically pretty exhausted but I have enough steam about me to carry on (not to mention the fact that doing nothing drives me up the wall, being "somewhat" of a workaholic) and, am ready to take my blogging to task.. Although it'll likely be a couple of days yet before I provide any real updates, as work beckons, and lengthy shifts loom on the horizon.

Briefly though, my immediate plans for blogging are:

  • An update and run down on last months achievements (we did good!).
  • Print and play gaming: my new passion.
  • Feature Abandon: Knightmare Re-run (It wasn't popular, it had to go).
  • Print And Been Playing: A new feature, replacing Knightmare Re-Run. A review section for the print and play games that I have been playing, with a positive bias towards free print and play games.
Hope to see you all there! :0).

Monday, 27 May 2013

Fighting The Power Creep: Part The Second

Carrying on from my last Tunnels & Trolls post, where I set out to slay the power creep; an evil creature from the Mountains of Dice, and with attributes running into the thousands; I have created a couple of more house rules that can significantly help alter the tempo of game play..

I have also come to notice that what initially started out as a series of quick fixes is fast becoming / may well become its own rulebook!

AP scaling and the "Goldilocks Zone"
One of the biggest problems with the 7.x rules as they are written is the amount of AP it takes to raise any one attribute, a mere 10 times the current value of the attribute. This seems way too generous to me and, takes a lot of challenge out of the delving experience. Especially when you compare this to older editions, for example 5.5.

Example: A truly average character, Generic Erik has a score of 10 in each and every attribute. The 1000 AP that it would ordinarily take to raise one attribute under 5.x by at best two could equally raise five separate attributes by one point a piece using 7.x.

The other end of the scale that I have seen amongst the rulebooks (7.0 I believe), costs increasing any attribute at 100 times its current value in AP. This seems way too harsh to me. It bogs down character development, and can detract from fun and spontaneous play. Players need a measure of their progress and, their characters are it.

My solution would be to set the AP cost of increasing any given attribute by one at 50 times the current attribute value. You can of course set the value to whatever you wish but, I find that 50 works best for me. It keeps play moving, but doesn't remove the element of challenge from the game.

Whatever value decide to elect though should be carefully considered, as it will have a HUGE impact on your game.

Modified Modifiers
Not a big problem but, a common criticism of Tunnels & Trolls is how the modifiers massively effect play and, player choice. Let's face it, you'd have to be mad to play as a Human off the bat, especially in solo land where survival is the name of the game.
It's not that Humans are a bad choice (an extra Talent is nothing to be sneezed at) but, when the modifiers given to a Dwarf make them excellent Warriors, and Warriors are the only character Type that can play through most solo's, it's clear to see why most players pick them.

This also creates a problem with the way that level is measured in 7.x. Whilst it makes more sense to me to have level measured against your actual ability (your attributes), the scale used to measure your level is set to a "Human Average". So starting play as a Dwarf in 7.x can often mean that you roll up a second level character, which just doesn't "feel" right.
My solution, convert the multipliers in the rulebook into more manageable modifiers, akin to those in the "other game". Here's what I have for the Common Kindreds so far:

New Common Kindred Modifiers

CON: +3, LK: -1, STR: +3

CON: -1, CHR: +3, INT: +2, LK: +2, WIZ: +3

CON: -3, CHR: +3, DEX: +3, LK: +3, STR: -3, WIZ: +3

CON: +3, DEX: +2, LK: +2, STR: -2

DEX: +2, INT: +2, LK: +2, STR: -2

I'm still working on few further house rules to accompany the new system but  my current thoughts are that no attribute should ever drop below three at creation. If it does, it's value becomes three. The alternative to this is to say that if the modifier would drop an attribute to below three, that character cannot become that Kindred. Favoring freedom though, I much prefer the former.

I'm also considering a number of other options related to Kindred, including inherent powers, where for example a Minotaur may be better at charging his foe, whilst Skeletons take less damage from slashing weapons (but more from smashing ones). There's also the matter of drawing a line between "natural" and "created" Kindreds, along with any number of other loose ends..

Yup, there's a lot more in the power creep yet but, that's all for now folks.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

A Short Break.. Sort Of

Image Property Of
When I say short break it conjures up images of days spent by the seaside, candy floss and, fairgrounds.. Well, it does for me, but alas this is nothing of the sort (not that I actually like fairgrounds, with the exception of hook-a-duck).

Nope, my working week begins in about an hours time, which with the long hours that I actually work (9 hour stints without a break) leaves me little time for anything else that isn't eating or sleeping. So it's not likely that I'll get another post in till late Saturday / mid-afternoon Sunday at the earliest.

Still, we are going great guns for the month so far, and I still have pages worth of notes to make tangible and post.

So, we're looking at a couple of days break as it stands, maybe an extra day or so as I catch up on my sleep, but that's all it is. A break.. Of sorts, and I look forward to seeing you all on the flip side. :0).