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."
The main focus this week has been in RPG WorldBuilder and sending the new FAL books off to the printer.
So, RPG WorldBuilder.
We will be making an announcement in the next week or so as to the release date of the Kickstarter for the app. We are hoping to offer backers early beta versions of the app and then, once the app releases in its completed form, those backers will be automatically upgraded without having to pay for the finished app. Backers will get pdf maps, the beta app (with, hopefully a full upgrade later), and other rewards as incentives for backing early. This is the plan. We are in great shape on the project and the app is fantastic and really versatile. In the next week or so we will be releasing a promotional video and information about the app and what it does via various social media outlets.
So, Far Away Land...
Three of the four new books have been sent to the printer and proofs ordered. Once these come in I will be taking a fairly lengthy look at each one in its print form via video. We will also be doing a print proofread as well. The fourth book, Creatures Vol. 3 has yet to be sent to the printer. I wanted to make some minor changes to some of the text. Those changes are done and a final formatting proofread and look through is taking place. Hopefully the proof of that book will be ordered next.
Since the FALRPG Kickstarter isn't happening until February 2018, I have time to hopefully complete Seas of Far Away Land. That would introduce the Tome of Awesome and four new books into the the FAL library. Most of Seas is done and a lot of the time has been spent on building a naval combat system that is light, expandable, and fun to play. I think (hope) I have hit those goals.
Its exciting with these two big projects coming to fruition. Doing this type of work is often a lonely experience for me. There is a great satisfaction in seeing things come together but it can be hard and there are definitely hills and valleys of emotion and self-doubt. I know people like FAL but when it comes down to it, FAL is a release for me, its something I need to do and I love to do. I really love making and playing games. I hope these new products demonstrate the love and attention for the hobby and the process.
Alright. See you all on Monday with new FAL goodies. Have a great weekend.
What do giant space hamsters, Queen (the band), and Dungeon! have in common? They all inspired me this week. Maybe they will inspire you as well.
Head Injury Theatre Presents… Dungeons and Dragons: Celebrating 30 Years of Very Stupid Monsters
This is old stuff but I find myself going back to it from time to time. I generally use it as a fast reference before looking the creatures up in their specific books. Why would I do this? I think absurd, stupid, scratch your head monsters are pretty awesome. In fact, I think they are so awesome that I have vowed to include at least one in every Creatures Volume for Far Away Land (See Snake Cloud in Creatures Vol. 2). Besides that, I kinda want to build an entire book of absurd monsters each more terrible than the last. If anyone wants, post stupid monster ideas and Ill make some monsters for FAL.
For the record, the Giant Space Hamsters from Spelljammer are pretty badass.
Awesome Crowd Singing Bohemian Rhapsody
I didn’t think I would be posting videos about Queen on here (and it’s not that I don’t like Queen). I think that goes to show that when you look, or are open to inspiration, you can often find it in places that you may have never looked before (or you’ve seen/heard before, but it just never struck you). When I saw the video below I had immediate images of voices rising up from a planet. The clouds in the video made me think of unprotected, simple creatures at the mercy of the ages/weather/fears. I started thinking about gods and deities and what if there were creatures created by thousands or even millions of voices conveying deep-felt emotions? These creatures are born from crowds gathered like the one in the video below. And when these creatures are born, the sky splits open, rays of light burst through and behold…
Dungeon! and it’s cheap!
Erik Tenkar posted about Dungeon! over on Tenkar's Tavern last week and I have been thinking about it ever since then. I never played it as a kid and only once in college (which was a drunken endeavor that resulted in us breaking my roommate’s Maker's Mark collector’s bottle and then another vomiting in the same roommates football helmet… animals). Ugh. Anyway. I just picked this up last night and thought it would be great to play with my nieces. No more snakes and ladders.
Dungeon! on Amazon
This week we are looking at the newest update in the RPG WorldBuilder app - specifically, the digital Dungeon Architect Cards deck and the new 8-way dungeon tiles. This little app has a a ton of content, is easy to use, and has so much depth and possibility. GMs, players, mapmakers and anyone who loves tabletop games will find the RPG WorldBuilder to be an incredibly useful tool. Check out the video below and be sure to signup on our page to get filled in on all things RPG WorldBuilder!
Monday comes crashing in as the weekend fades away. Ah, but take heed fearless traveler. We here at faruniverse have you covered in the throes of your early week torment…
This week we bring you an updated Far Away Land Character Sheet and NPC Sheet. The new sheets have been simplified and include a more fun feel than the original sheets which of course we know were super boring. Thanks to everyone who let us know their true feeling about the original sheets. You aren’t allowed to download the new ones. Just kidding.
The new character sheet was not only simplified but also designed to convey the spirit of the game. Also, there is a PC portrait box so you can draw your character before they most likely die at LVL 1. A few things may change but for the most part these sheets are done. However, if anyone has any comments or opinions on other types of sheets (or on these) they would like to see included in the new Tome of Awesome, let us know and maybe we can make it happen. Sometimes we actually listen.
Below are the previews and here are the download links. They are in pdf format. Right now they are black and white but I may even make one in color for people who enjoy blowing money on ink. The black and white is cool though because you can color it.
See you all Wednesday!
So, Friday is here and the weekend looms. The immediate work focus is on the completion of the RPG WorldBuilder app, which is coming to an end and will see a crowdfunding release in the near near future. Some of the logistical parts of this are being worked out.
In addition to the app, we’ll continue this weekend on the four new FAL books (Tome of Awesome Revised, Creatures Vol 2 & 3 and Adventure Awesome). The books are written, formatted, and ready to go to press. As soon as the books arrive from press I will be posting images and videos. However, none of the new books will be released until February 2018. However, between now and release, we will be running some contests to generate interest in the new stuff and offer winners new versions in both printed and pdf formats.
For the last year I have been scheduling my time to oversee and work on multiple projects daily. This has reduced the amount of content released but has allowed me to have a backlog of work that will soon be coming out. This may not have been the wisest of moves but it was the choice made. But hey, new stuff!
So, this is the official announcement that the new Far Away Land RPG books will be released via Kickstarter in February 2018. As that date grows nearer, I will be creating a signup page for those interested in email reminders. Also, be sure to watch for the contests on social media.
Have a great weekend and see you Monday.
Every Wednesday on faruniverse.com we will be talking a look at some of the internets stuff I found to be inspiring throughout the week. These posts will be focused on specific gaming content or things I have found to be interesting or worth a look (usually gaming related). So, here we go…
The Midderlands - An OSR Mini-Setting & Bestiary Kickstarter
From the Midderlands Kickstarter page…
“The Midderlands is an old-school game setting with bestiary for use with old-school role-playing games. It is based on Swords & Wizardry Complete, but could easily be used with other old-school systems and even non-OSR systems such as D&D or Pathfinder.
It is a green-hued, dark-fantasy, late-middle ages, early-renaissance view through grime-smeared spectacles. The setting itself is based on an area in the middle of England near where I live called The Midlands. Many of the locations are loosely based on reality, but others are pure fantasy from an addled mind.”
Ah, the addled mind, something I'm quite familiar with. The Midderland's setting looks weird and quirky. From the KS video and project description, it looks to have a fair bit of darkness woven into the weirdness and a general feeling that something isn't quite right. Quirky and weird and a bit dark... that's something I am totally interested in. That's why I backed this project. I would kind of love to just explore the Midderlands and hopefully in a few months I will get to do just that. I was originally in for a pdf but I think I will go with the hardback as I would really like to sit with the book and explore, preferably while it storms outside or a thick fogs creeps in.
Scooby Doo Background Paintings
I found these Scooby Doo background paintings to be absolutely awesome. In fact, after looking through these and copying a bunch to an art folder I keep for inspiration, I watched a couple episodes of Scooby Doo, Where Are You? Honestly, It was hard to get through. I loved it as a kid but the whole thing is on such an absurd level as to not even make sense in its own universe. There has to be a better way to run a scam than pretend you’re a ghost pirate.
Even though the show may be lacking, some of the artwork is awesome and really creates a fantastic atmosphere. Check out some of the images below or go to the blog link in the title. I think these could be used as great visual references for setting the atmosphere during a play session.
See you Friday!
This is the inaugural post of Far Away Land Mondays. Each Monday we will be posting new content from the Far Away Land RPG. This might be rules, creatures, maps, history, ideas, etc. Every week will be something new and gloriously awesome.
This week we are bring you a new creature from the upcoming Creatures Vol. 3… Myscus!
Blogs I read...