The new Far Away Land books are coming together, the world and the universe is expanding, new creatures are being born, and the high seas are being made tangible. Most of the work on FAL in these past few weeks has focused on the final proofreads of the books and completing Seas of FAL. That's what I'm going to talk about today.
Seas of FAL will include the following...
There's more than this but this is the main content to be featured in the book. Some of this will be unlockable as stretch goals during the Kickstarter. However, we will be setting the goals so that the content can be fairly easily unlocked.
In the coming weeks I will be going over some of the rules and philosophies behind Seas of FAL. The basic goal was to make a badass sea rpg set in Far Away Land, to make naval combat fast and cinematic, to make ship and crew creation simple and flexible with additional options for more crunch.
The Seas of Far Away Land are coming in February 2018.
So, the Far Away Land RPG has rules for a training montage where the player basically narrates their PC's training, preferably to inspirational music.
What would you choose as training montage theme music?
Here are a couple of my choices...
St Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)
I don't know the real name of the song, but by god, that's gotta be one of the most inspirational tunes to come out of the '80s. It was written for a guy crossing Canada by wheelchair and it was sung by a guy with a mullet. Not just any mullet. Rumor has it that he he stole Michael Landon's Highway to Heaven head and replaced his own to generate the inspiration that can only be created by an angel with a killer wig. Color me inspired. And don't forget about the brat pack movie of the same name (St. Elmo's Fire). All I remember about that movie was that everyone was always hugging and trying super hard to become alcoholics.
You're the Best Around
So, this one might be completely obvious but I thought I would talk about it anyway. Of any song from my childhood, it was Joe Esposito's You're the Best Around that made me want to go out and karate kick montage a bunch of dudes into submission. Even if you aren't good at what your doing, listening to this song will pump you so full of confidence that you would gladly take on the whole Cobra Kai. Too bad the song was only playing for Daniel. But hey, that's the beauty of the montage.
P.S. (It's still bullshit how he beat Bobby).
This week I'm taking a look at the upcoming Creatures Vol. 2 for the Far Away Land RPG. This video features the hardback version of the book. The FAL Kickstarter in February 2018 will offer all the books in both hardcover and paperback.
For now, sit back and have a look at Creatures Vol. 2.
The RPG WorldBuilder Kickstarter has launched!
RPG WorldBuilder Kickstarter
This week saw final preparations for the
RPG WorldBuilder Kickstarter launch on Monday 8.14.2017
RPG WorldBuilder is an Android app that give users a toolkit for building maps, creating notes, and running tabletop rpg adventures all from their Android device. We have been building this app since November 2016 and we are ready to take it public in a limited beta release. Check out the video below to get an idea of what this amazing little app can do.
This week in FAL saw the completion of Creatures Vol. 3 with some work done of Seas of Far Away Land. Work has been intermittent on each of these books in the last two weeks because of focus on RPG WorldBuilder. However, we will soon be back in the flow. I have high expectations that when the FAL Kickstarter launches in February 2018 we will have Sea of FAL completed.
Monday we will be hyping the RPG WorldBuilder and showing off Creatures Vol 2. As always, thanks for reading and have a great weekend.
This week we roll back the clock more than 30 years and take a deeper look at the Master of the Universe Universe. MotU was something I loved as a kid and still love. To this day I still watch the original He-Man although I am a bit more critical and cynical in my viewing. '80s cartoons and D&D were the biggest influences on my creativity growing up (for better or for worse) and I think that influence is easily seen in not only my art style and content, but also in the spirit of the work as well, at least I hope it is. But whatever. Without further blabbering, let’s look at… Moss Man!
I know I’m scraping the bottom of the MotU barrel here but really, what a letdown. Moss Man. He is literally just a mossy man. I don’t know if moss is growing on his body like hair or if he is just solid moss like that red hairy thing that was buddies with Marvin the Martian. It really doesn’t matter though as physics/botany/biology/chemsitry in MotU rarely make sense (we will talk about this at a later date). There are a couple really shitty things about Moss Man…
First, his name. He’s made of moss and he’s a man, let’s call him Moss Man. They literally spent no time at all coming up with a name for this guy. I think his name is actually worse than Mekanecks. I mean, with Mekaneck, add least they fused two words and changed the spelling. With Moss Man they used absolutely no thought. This is a trend in MotU, bad names that is. It’s like they were under some ungodly time crunch and just had to come up with whatever they could in as little time as possible. What I’m wondering is how in the hell did someone think Moss Man was a good idea? I may do a list of worst MotU names. I need to come up with a scoring rubric though.
Second. What was his power? Camouflage? That he always grew facing north? Control moss? Who wants the power to control moss? How would that ever help anyone? Watching the video below should shed a bit of light on these questions.
Nice. So, Moss Man is green so he can’t be seen. Unless he stands in front of any color except green, then he is the most conspicuous MotU character ever. In the video he just stands in the shadow acting like his moss cover is working. He-Man falls for this as he is not only the most powerful man in the universe, but one of the dumbest as well. Thankfully for both He-Man and Moss Man, Skeletor is even dumber. It's sort of like the MotU version of Mayberry where He-Man is Andy Griffith and... Or, maybe He-Man just doesn’t really care as Moss Man adds nothing to battle anyway. Basically, Moss Man’s power is the ability to hide. Why didn’t they call him Coward Man?
As I leave Moss Man and MotU this week, here is something to ponder. Are MotU characters like Moss Man and Mekaneck and Two Bad unique or representational of entire species? I never really knew and I’m not familiar with the comics/extended MotU enough to know that answer? I like to think there are a whole race of moss people, otherwise Moss Man is just some lonely jerk who looks like a green sasquatch. If anyone knows this answer, let me know.
So, I feel a string need to balance the cynicism in this post. To do that, I would like to show off a bit of MotU art that is not only fantastic, but inspiring as well. Here you go…
This week, and the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at the new Far Away Land books. I just wanted to show people what was in the works, how the new stuff was looking, what it contains, and some general thoughts on the work.
This week, we are taking a look at the revised version of the FAL Tome of Awesome. It comes in around 300 pages. The version we are looking at today is the hardback version. The Febraury 2018 FAL Kickstarter will offer the FAL books in color in both hard and paperback versions. We may also offer them in black and white for folks who want in on the game but don't want to spend the money to get a full color version. I have avoided this in the past because I have always felt FAL needed to be seen in full color. I need to see what black and white versions look like before I decide. pdfs will be available as well.
There are a few major additions to the ToA which include Creature Size Comparisons and Creature Loot Drops. Another big change is the revamping and addition of a ton of artwork. Smaller changes include rule clarifications, errata fixes, and some revised text. I am very happy with the revision and with the way the book looks. But hey, don't take my word for it. Check out the video below and see for yourself.
This week in Far Away Land saw minimal progress as far as content creation as I was super busy working on the RPG WorldBuilder app Kickstarter content (more on this later). However, I did receive three new FAL books this week: Tome of Awesome, Creatures Vol. 2, and Adventure Awesome. I still haven’t sent out for the proof of Creatures Vol. 3 – hopefully next week.
So the books are absolutely beautiful. I am a harsh critic when it comes to my work but I think these books are beautiful. Each one of full color, premium paper, hardback with glossy cover. Next week I will post a short video on Monday taking a look at each book – the subsequent weeks will see follow-up videos looking at each book in detail via video. For now, here are a couple pictures of the new Far Away Land RPG books.
The RPG WorldBuilder Kickstarter is growing near. Next week will be an official announcement as to the start of the Kickstarter project. The Kickstarter is going to be offering backers a beta version of the app at a free or reduced price (depending on reward level) plus a bunch of extras available only through the Kickstarter. We are on schedule with each element of both the Kickstarter and the app development. Again, next week we will announce the Kickstarter project date so be sure to check out rpgworldbuilder.com or our RPG WorldBuilder Facebook Page.
Have a great weekend. See you Monday!
Remember Kidd Video?
Populating my playlist this week has been '80s cartoon theme songs. Honestly, I don't even have a playlist, I just search Youtube and listen to '80s cartoon music.
<Casey Casem's Voice>
The number one song on the countdown this week is from a little band who started in a garage, was taken to the Flipside and transformed into cartoons. Three no name musicians and Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch make up this band on a show most everyone either forgot about or never cared in the first place. It's Kidd Video with their hit theme song... The Theme Song from Kidd Video.
</Casey Casem's Voice>
So, that car that Cousin Oliver is driving is called a Subaru Brat which is like a baby El Camino. It's a mix between a car and a truck and its great for picking up friends who have guitar cases and other band paraphernalia. Here's one with a camper top.
I love that everyone is super excited to be going to band practice. Excitement in the '80s was unlike any other decade before or since. It's partially because of the music and partially because cocaine. Commies were bad and MTV was awesome. Once they arrive at band practice they immediately uncover the mirror so they can see how rad they rock. Unfortunately, band practice is cut short by Master Blaster, an evil cartoon record executive who transports the band to the Flispide so that they can be his musical slaves. This is very similar to the music industry today in that normal people are transformed into caricatures and enslaved by record companies. Who ever knew that Kidd Video would be so prophetic?
I actually liked this cartoon as a kidd. I remember enjoying the music and I am planning to re-watch a couple episodes. I'll talk about this in the future.
So, I'm a huge fan of He-Man and Masters of the Universe (MotU) and have been since all about 1982 when I watched it on a small black and white TV. Because MotU has played such a big part in inspiring me in the creation of Far Away Land, I thought I would highlight some things I find both awesome and terrible related to this universe. This week's feature character is Mekaneck...
Mekaneck = Mechanical Neck. Get it? Well that's witty and imaginative. Let's create a character who has a mechanical neck that can extend all of maybe three feet? He can be a spy. Replace the ch with a k so no one knows what were up to. Oh, and he wears Elton John glasses. Perfect.
I think this has to be one of the dumbest MotU characters and I love it. He has zero super ability save his mekanical neck. Why doesnt he just carry a box to stand on instead? And who was the jerk that built Mekaneck? Man-at-Arms? Was Mekaneck born this way? I can't really conceive of how he came to be either on Eternia or in real life. Plus, isn't the neck like a super vulnerable area? It does look to be made of metal, but still. Whats up with those silver boots? Why do almost all MotU characters wear furry panties? I mean, this guy has a mechanical neck and he's wearing furring panties. Apparently Mekaneck's first name was (I can't believe this is even true)... Spy Man. Yep. So if you thought Mekaneck was a terrible name, look what it started as. Spy Man.
Here's a nice video with the history and evolution of MEKANECK!
This week I am debuting a new combat rule from the updated Tome of Awesome. I have seen several systems use a similar rule and we have been using it in house rules for the last year or so as well. I thought it would add another buffer between the PC and death and make for some interesting combat descriptions as well as a nice way to prevent equipment bloat. In fact, I really like the idea that a player can choose between possibly losing their PC or losing a set of armor/shield. I think a good rule/guideline in game mechanics should do multiple things in game. I feel like this one does that. Rules like this also remove a bit of randomness from the dice and put some of the decision making process in the player's hands. Empower the player.
The rule concludes with the line “This can be a lifesaving strategy” which I kind of feel like most LVL 1 PCs in FAL desperately need.
From Far Away Land: Tome of Awesome v2
A combatant using a shield or wearing armor may opt to allow the full damage of a strike to be absorbed by the shield or armor. This results in the defender taking 0 damage from the attack. However, the shield/armor is destroyed as a result of taking the full brunt of the blow. This can be a lifesaving strategy."
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