So, work continues on the Far Away Land expansion book Adventures in the Materiosphere. I’ve been doing a bunch of half page artwork and fleshing out the setting. I’ve also been playtesting the starship combat rules and messing with the custom starship builder. Here are a couple of my design goals…
Custom Starship Builder
These rules are based on the same rules that were used to create custom creatures. Basically, ships have archetypes which kind of define what they are used for. A series of sections allow you to build a starship from scratch. You can determine its size, archetype, crew, engines, weapons, shields, armor, special abilities and more. Also included is a custom crew builder which lets you piece together an NPC crew in no time.
At first, starship combat was going to be almost identical to normal, person to person combat. But scaling became an issue and in testing, keeping track of assloads of HP and damage (especially for huge ships) wasn’t my cup of tea. I wanted something simple and cinematic and quick… and deadly. So, the latest (and I think final iteration) of starship combat is based on shields, armor, and weapon types. Basically, small arms against thicker armor are less effective. Damage isn’t handled in HP but rather in hit locations based on the level of damage done (minor or major). Also, scaling isn’t an issue and there is no real bookkeeping except to keep track of damaged areas. Two charts (one for minor and one for major damage) allow for hit locations. It’s fast, cinematic, descriptive, and pretty fun. One more thing. Maneuvers play a large role in starship combat. So, small vessels can evade attacks but have lighter armor while larger vessels are slower and less maneuverable but have heavier armor.
The setting is gonzo keeping in line with the rest of FAL. Here are a couple of examples…
The remains of dead cosmic wanderers float in space (these are called Husks), giant weathered bodies around which nebulae, stars, and worlds exist. These are the same types of creatures which created the Materiosphere. However, their long dead bodies have floated into Materiosphere space over the eons from realms beyond. Also, giant space tortoises feed on starlight and produce a fungus which is mined and used to enhance psionic abilities.
Anyway. Here’s a giant space tortoise feeding off starlight.
I ordered up a print proof of the Far Away Land Quick Start Rules. These aren't available yet but they soon will be. Right now there is a formatting issue where I added an extra blank page throwing everything off. Other than that, I am pretty happy with the results. A new proof has already been ordered. The FALQSR comes with an adventure as well (Isle of the Rat Wizard).
Here's a couple pics...
I wanted to point out a website that I think is really great – Dyson’s Dodecahedron.
Dyson’s Dodecahedron is largely dedicated to rpg maps drawn by the site owner, Dyson Logos. Dyson’s maps are fantastic, old school style, black and white little artworks. Each one conjures stories and tales in my brain. Every time I look at one I get the itch to explore it. I feel like they have all these little bits, these fiddly nuanced pieces that come together to make each map worthy of any gamer’s table. They stir my imagination and make me want to dungeon crawl. They make me want to draw maps.
As far as I know each one is hand drawn with pen on paper. He has a very specific, clean style composed of crosshatching, hard edges, old school map symbols, and nice little details. They really are little artworks, fun as hell to look at.
I have also seen a lot of his maps as works in progress as he posts regularly on his Facebook page. It’s nice to see the maps come together. It would be great to see him do a time lapse drawing.
So, Dyson’s Dodecahedron. I'm pretty sure that most of the maps on his site are available for personal use and some are even available for commercial use thanks to his Patreon supporters. Check out some of his maps below…
The Stone Sinister. I love this map. I wonder what ancient peoples built that big hand. What is the hand connected to? Is there a body beneath the surface? Was it originally a solid work hollowed out over time? Who cares. It looks awesome. I particularly like the little door next to the thumb that leads into the thumb room. Nice.
The City of Blue. City maps are always fascinating to me. They are microcosms of a world. I love all the little details in this map. The normal (non-blue) buildings are dwarfed by the mammoth pillars that make the city so famous.
This is a nice little isometric map Dyson made using our very own Dungeon Architect Cards. I'm a big fan of isometric maps.
Another map Dyson made with Dungeon Architect Cards. Again, I love how fiddly and nuanced these maps feel. There are just all these little bits of stuff inside: the grid squares, the dark outlines, the crosshatching, old school symbols, little coffins, rubble... Really fun stuff.
The World Architect Cards Kickstarter has come to a close. We here at Simian Circle Games would like to extend a very heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in backing this project. You all made it happen. Every stretch goal was unlocked. Nearly 900 backers. We are very excited to get started on fulfilling rewards and getting everyone the cards they want.
If you were unable to get in on the Kickstarter, fear not. After we have fulfilled all of our KS orders, we will make the World Architect Cards available in our store here at faruniverse.com.
The last day of the World Architect Cards Kickstarter is here. That was a fast few weeks. All stretch goals have been unlocked. We have nearly 850 backers. Thanks to everyone who made this happen.
After all the Kickstarter rewards have been shipped, a truncated deck of WACs will be made available to the public. This deck will consist of fewer cards (54 instead of 72) and a different tuck box. The cards will be available here at faruniverse.com. So, if you don;t get in on the Kickstarter, fear not, you will still be able to get some WACs in the future!
The final week of the World Architect Cards Kickstarter is upon us! Nearly all the stretch goals have been unlocked. If you have already backed this project, thank you, you made it happen. If you have yet to become part of the World Architect Cards Kickstarter, we invite you to join us!
$3000: Extra Artwork: Arctic - UNLOCKED!!!
$3500: Extra Artwork: Battlefield - UNLOCKED!!!
$4000: Extra Artwork: Bridge - UNLOCKED!!!
$4500: Extra Artwork: Castle - UNLOCKED!!!
$5000: Extra Artwork: Desert - UNLOCKED!!!
$5500: Extra Artwork: Dungeon - UNLOCKED!!!
$6000: Extra Artwork: Forest - UNLOCKED!!!
$6500: Extra Artwork: Graveyard - UNLOCKED!!!
$7000: Extra Artwork: Lair - UNLOCKED!!!
$7500: Extra Artwork: Mine - UNLOCKED!!!
$8000: Extra Artwork: Mountains - UNLOCKED!!!
$8500: Extra Artwork: Plains - UNLOCKED!!!
$9000: Extra Artwork: Ruins - UNLOCKED!!!
$9500: Extra Artwork: Sea - UNLOCKED!!!
$10000: Extra Artwork: Swamp - UNLOCKED!!!
$10500: Extra Artwork: Temple - UNLOCKED!!!
$11000: Extra Artwork: Tower - UNLOCKED!!!
$11500: Extra Artwork: Town - UNLOCKED!!!
$12000: Extra Artwork: Wasteland - UNLOCKED!!!
$12500: New Card: Cathedral - UNLOCKED!!!
$13000: New Card: Jungle - UNLOCKED!!!
$13500: New Card: Prison - UNLOCKED!!!
$14000: New Card: Volcano - UNLOCKED!!!
$14500: Card Quality increased to 310 gsm black core stock - UNLOCKED!!!
$15000: Deck increased to 60 cards - UNLOCKED!!!!
$16000: Deck increase to 64 cards - UNLOCKED!!!!
$17000: Deck increased to 68 cards - UNLOCKED!!!
$18000: Deck increased to 72 cards - UNLOCKED!!!
$20000: World Architect Cards Tuck Box
$22000: Layered Tiff Files Released to all backers at $10 and above
So, since we are running a Kickstarter for the World Architect Cards, I thought it would be appropriate to do a Let’s Draw episode using these cards to draw a map. This video features the cards being used to generate and build a map from scratch. I used five biome cards and five build cards to show an example of how the cards could be used in this method. The map goes from rough draft to colored map. After that, there is an example of how to use the card descriptors for one of the map locations.
I hope you enjoy the video.
I have always been a huge fan of stop motion animation. When I was a kid I made little movies with my parent's VHS camcorder using GI-Joes, Transformers, He-Man figures, and Play-Doh. I loved movies like Jason and the Argonauts, Sinbad, and Clash of the Titans. I have an early memory of staying up late one night with my dad and watching Clash of the Titans, passing out on the floor of the living room and waking up to a room bathed in blue light, a TV screen of static, and my dad snoring on the couch.
I found a website the other day called The Lone Animator. It’s full of stop-motion animation, cheesy special effects, and fantastic puppetry. It’s perfect. The owner of the site makes all of the films found there and most are pretty damn cool. He’s even got some tutorials and walkthroughs of how he made the puppets, filmed the movies, used green screens, etc. I love the whole thing. In fact, after spending a while on the site, I was inspired to get back to sculpting a new FAL statue (an orka).
So, The Lone Animator. It’s a cool site for anyone into stop-motion animation, puppetry, Lovecraftian themes, D&D, and cheesy fantasy films.
Blogs I read...