And now you know why I haven’t posted in more than four months. It has been coming on for several years now, but hit me full force halfway through November (which is why I’m astounded that I came as close to my NaNoWriMo goal as I did). Later this week my treatment will finally begin. After that I should become more active in everything.
On a lighter note, despite the depression I have gotten some work done on my magnum opus, the game I hope will become our roleplaying group’s go-to system. The rulebook has become a bit of a mess as I changed various rules – even the number of attributes. So I spent yesterday writing out the current rules in a new document so I could use it to continue developing the rules and then rewrite the rulebook.
I also created two new aids for the Pokémon video games. One is a type chart that is slightly smaller than a DSi. The other is a pocket-sized list of every Pokémon as of generation 5, including their types and what EVs they provide. It is two sheets of paper that each form a little booklet the size of 1/8 of a sheet of letter paper. I will be uploading both and adding them to the Download page as soon as I finalize the copyright line. I’m currently a bit stumped on how to make sure Nintendo, etc. get their due without taking up a ton of space.
November has arrived, so that means it’s that time of year again: National Novel Writing Month. Expect posts to be rare from me this month as NaNoWriMo consumes all of my free time on my quest to join my fellow NaNos and write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
I haven’t yet decided which story I’m writing this year, so I’m planning to flip back and forth working on all of them. My humble readers may find it interesting that two of them have ties to my roleplaying history.
It’s a sci-fantasy novel, sort of like V in basic concept but I wrote chapter 1 before I’d ever seen the series, where “benevolent” aliens came to Earth and helped clean it up and forced us to make peace with each other. But one morning we woke up and realized we were enslaved.
What brought the aliens to Earth is that it is the only planet in the known universe that produces mana, although humans in general lost the ability to tap it centuries ago. (Have I mentioned that my favorite genre is sci-fantasy?) Part of the way through the book the resistance will learn that the aliens have developed engines that are powered by mana but only use that technology to make weapons to fight against the resistance. Knowing me as well as I do, it is quite likely that those engines will eventually find their way into combat mecha.
The story centers around one particular squad of resistance fighters, the leader of which is grizzled old retired US Army sergeant who refuses to believe in magic or psionics, despite the fact that two other members of the team are psions. He’s a blast to write… and to play the few times I have.
That story holds a special place in my heart because Sgt. Carter and Celeste, the team’s latently-psychic hacker, are the first two roleplaying characters I ever made, way back in the third edition of GURPS before we even learned how to play roleplaying games.
One of my other stories for this year is based on my very first campaign behind the screen (in GURPS 4e by then). It was set on Earth about 200 years in the future, but after the planet had merged with a fantasy world from another dimension (inspired by the anime Those Who Hunt Elves). The merging caused a worldwide earthquake that nearly wiped out all civilization on both worlds.
Now things have settled down, and, thanks to the Internet, much of which was kept in satellites, the world has mostly recovered and is now adapting to the all of the new races and the magic they bring. A few weeks ago a book fetus set in that world started latched on to my brain and started feeding. As is usual with my writing, I have no idea what will happen until the characters tell me.
A little while ago I saw Dizzy Dragon’s free random dungeon creator mentioned on Kenzer&Co’s forums and just had to check it out. My current HackMaster 5e campaign started out as a random dungeon I built using HM4e’s random dungeon tables, so I’ve got a bit of sweet spot for such things.
With one click of the “Quick Dungeon!” button I got a fully fleshed out dungeon, complete with monsters and treasure. Then all I have to do is either stat out the monsters for GURPS or grab HackMaster Basic or the Hacklopedia of Beasts and add the critters to a new sheet in my encounter builder. So for GURPS I can be ready to go in 5 or 10 minutes, and no more than an hour or two for HackMaster 5e. An excellent time saver in either case.
Since my HackMaster campaign is an experiment in cooperative world design and has so far only used random dungeons, this is indeed a welcome addition to my toolbox.
As referenced above, it’s pretty system agnostic overall, but if you want monsters you have to specify Pathfinder, Moldvay Basic, or “Moldvay/Cook B/X Dungeon”, whatever that means. It also prompts you for party level but that means totally different things depending on the edition of D&D you’re using – especially since some are less “zero to hero” than others.