So, a lot of other things have been in the works where Far Away land is concerned - but a lot has been going outside that realm as well - hence my delay of nearly three weeks in posting an update...
Here is where I am...
I decided to add yet another facet to FAL - that of powers. Powers are an additional aspect to PC/NPC creation and allow for the defining of traits which don't fit into the Skills and Magic categories. Essentially, Powers in FAL allow GMs and players a ready made list of abilities such as Power Absorption, Telekinesis, Breathing Fire, etc. with which they can further define specific races, characters, adversaries, etc. The basic list is finished and most of the powers listed have only a single sentence explaining what the ability does. The idea behind this was to leave the descriptions somewhat open to interpretation allowing players and GMs to put their own spin on what the power can actually do and how well it does it.
Along with the powers included in FAL is a set of rules for expanding and ramping up the levels of the powers listed. Advice and rules are also presented for players and GMs to easily create their own powers.
While monsters and character already had powers, they weren't labeled as such and functioned a bit differently. With this new system, Powers function the same way as spells with limited daily uses (although some, like Night Vision, are automatic). The rule governing Powers also allows for an easier creation of races and specific characters. For example, players can now make super type characters who have attained a specific power in some way - if they choose to do so.
Powers were something we had been considering for a long time. They are an added element that was previously within the game but not well defined or elegant. Now they have been simplified and listed to allow for the expansion in home brew rules by players who are interested in taking FAL a step in a different direction. Again, Powers are simply another option.
I am shooting for FAL to be completed sometime in 2013 - probably summer, with the Kickstarter project starting up in late winter or early spring of the same year. My goal is to have a preliminary FAL book printed and sent to reviewers in order to get some publicity and some good words and reviews I might use on the Kickstarter page. I also want the book to be ready to go in a near finished state so that those who donate have no questions as to whether the project will come to completion. Before the FAL Kickstarter ever becomes real, the project will be done. That will also allow for the Kickstarter project to generate some money in order to print a bunch of FAL books.
As I have been working on the minigames to be included with the rules, I have also been spending some time thinking about and working on premade races that will be included in the rules. While the basic fantasy races will be present (Elves, Dwarves, Humans, etc.) there will also be included a great deal of other races which are specific to Far Away Land. These will allow players to create characters without having to create their own race from scratch. Essentially, it is just another option as to how player and GMs wish to take part in the game.
Since the core elements and mechanics of FAL have been completed and play tested a great deal, I have been able to start incorporating fluff elements into the game. While I think that premade races are a nice addition and allow for not only examples of races are made (the premade races are made following the exact same race creation system provided in the book) I still think of them as a fluff element, something that defines the world that I have created. The feel and overall concept of FAL is quirky and as such, I wanted the premade races included to reflect this element. So, without further ado, here are a few of the premade races to be included. With the exception of the Clockwork man, all of these races are Humanoid.
Zoordooz: These are thigh high boot wearing men with manicured mustaches, chest hair and long ponytails. They believe themselves to be superior to other races and as such they try and enslave, torture and murder those who are not Zoordooz.
Silve: Magic wielding musicians with long sideburns and dark eyes who worship a musical God called Xindreh. They rely heavily on magic which is distributed through their music.
Linkolns: Clad in beards, long black coats and stove pipe hats, the Linkolns are a race of humanoid males (the females are also bearded although they do not wear the hats) who have been involved in a war with the undead for many years. They are known for their prowess in battle and for their intense hatred of the undead.
Agnuns: A humanoid race of mystical bear riding holy women who are as fierce with their Hook Blades as they are with their prayers. The men are considered secondary citizens in Agnun society with Agnun women making all of the decisions, fighting all battles, and generally being in charge. The women have the ability to charm and entice animals which they bond with over time (hence the reason they ride bears).
Clockwork Man: A type of construct who was created for the purpose of fighitng in wars long ago. Although many fell to ruin and others were destroyed, some survived and live on.
I have always been a big fan of video games that have mini games built in. Mario Party, Grand Theft Auto, Kung Fu Chaos are a few that come to mind right off. This idea of the mini game somehow enhances my experience in the fictional world and it is something that I was interested in trying to build in a tabletop rpg.
Here are four mini-games included in Far Away Land...
The Gods of Far Away Land: You take on the role of a god and interact with the other gods (players) as you all attempt to build a world and create races and followers.
The Historians of Far Away Land: This is an expansion of The Gods of Far Away Land and allows the players to expand in greater detail on the world they created previously. In The Historians of Far Away Land, players take on roles as historians attempting to put history together. Players work together to build narratives and define previous events or create new events in more detail.
Mass Combat: Far Away Land has a simple mass combat system which allows players playing at any level of the game (gods, historians , or single PCs in control of armies) to take part in wars and skirmishes at any scale imaginable. The system uses ratio conversions along with character levels to quickly determine unit strengths so that players get into the meat of combat with very little preparation.
Training Montage: Movies in the 80s kicked ass because they were full of training montages. Basically the protagonist would train by punching hunks of beef, or jogging, or working out in the cab of his semi or showering in a car wash while inspirational music plays in the background. Far Away Land simulates this experience as PCs find mentors and then narrate their own training montage, sometimes playing their own inspirational music while the other playters vote as to how awesome the montage was. Better montages come with perks such as cutting down on training time and less cost.
I have some other things in mind but as of now, these four styles of gameplay are already included in the core rules.
Blogs I read...