Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all! Hope everyone had a great year and has another great year ahead.
Here is where FAL is right now...
Creatures of Far Away Land
Creatures of Far Away Land is the bestiary of races and monsters that exist in the FAL world. Right now the creature count stands at around 60, each with a full color drawing that will be included.
The Gods of Far Away Land and the Historians of Far Away Land are in a near finished state. Here are some of the changes that have been made...
Legacy of Far Away Land
I always loved end game stuff, like when you got to be so powerful that you no longer adventure but rather controlled a piece of land or an army. That is what Legacy of Far Away Land is meant to be. Basic rules for ruling, commanding, and being an overall badass will be included along with a system for playing lineages. Everything is still early on in this addition.
There are 18 playable races (although actually all creatures are playable as PCs). The list was narrowed down to a set of races that could be easily incorporated into group play. Things like slime and killer plants that don't move didn't make the list.
As said before, all creatures in the book are playable as PCs. A series of charts allows GMs and players to quickly determine stats, powers, spells, etc. for characters based on level. It is a super simple system that can be used for creating on the fly enemies as well as allowing players to jump right in with any race or any level the want (as up to the GM of course).
The World of Far Away Land
I had been up in the air on whether I would include a setting with the game, something defined and I decided to meet the idea halfway and come up with a very broad depiction of the world of FAL and its place in the universe while leaving the actual world and its specifics up to the players and GMs. After all, one major component of the game is world building and group creativity.
What will be included are the planes of existence, some historical elements, and the way the world works (how races get on and what not). The way things have shaped up as far as the world is organized is kind of like Star Wars, where lots of race and species intermingle with one another and live together in core (civilized areas) but on the outskirts, you get more hostility and xenophobic groups who choose to stay amongst their own. The idea was to build a world where species interact with one another on a much more intimate scale than some like Lord of the Rings. Imagine sentient ooze gangsters who employ simian thieves and ratling henchmen in a city where humans are slaves and dwarves rule with corrupt authority.
The Gods of Far Away Land
A card mechanic using a standard deck of playing cards has been introduced to give the game a different feel. Players use cards as points (like spending power) in order to create. The three ages still remain (Age of Creation, Age of Life, and Age of Chaos) with a few exceptions. For instance, the ages are more strict as to what the gods can do now. Before, gods could still be creating lands and seas during the Age of Life, this is no longer the case.
A custom set of playing cards featuring artwork from FAL will be part of the Kickstarter project.
The Historians of Far Away Land
Like the Gods of FAL, the Historians are using a unique method to build narratives through random story elements. Instead of cards however it is dice, to be exact, custom story dice. These dice are color coded d6s and come in sets of 8; 2 Actor dice, 2 Setting dice, 2 Action dice, and 2 Conflict dice. The custom dice will be available through the Kickstarter project. Also, charts in the FAL rulebook will be provided for those who do not have the custom dice. The mechanic remains the same using the charts instead of the dice. So, you don't have to have the dice to play but they will be pretty cool with little FAl drawings symbolizing each element to be included in the narrative.
Historians of FAL has also become way less crunchy with more of a focus on storytelling. However, players can still detail out the Historical Record as much or as little as they want. Mass Combat and normal combat can be implemented easily for more random outcomes to historical battles and conflicts. Basically, the players choose the level of crunch they want.
Alright, its been a while so I have decided to do a bit of an update...
I have done some major retooling in the Skill department. Originally the game had a big fat skill list. In the previous version that skill list was shortened to 14 skills that encompassed everything needed for FAL. However, after playtesting and getting into it, I thought that 14 was still too many so I condensed those 14 into 5. And, they are no longer skills but rather stats: Bright, Brute, Tinker, Charm, and Nimble. Players get a few points to give to these skills to show what area of training they have.
As for skills, these have been left open and a set of guidelines created in order to allow players to truly define and shape a PC from the ground up, and during play. During PC creation, the player awards 6 skills to the PC, 3 of which are positive, 3 of which are negative. It is from these 5 stats and the 6 skills that the PC is shaped at creation.
As PCs experience the world, they come upon obstacles and situations which may not be covered by their skill set. In this case, based on the type of PC, the PC's history, and other training aspects, players create a flashback, a short narrative story which explores a PC's particular strength or weakness in the situation confronted. Role playing the character in a positive way brings XP while acting outside the PC's area of expertise, limits XP awarded for role playing. Some of this is still being hammered out.
The idea behind this is to allow players a very open freedom in building a PC over the course of the game. As PCs become more defined, there are less flashbacks that are narrated. Also, the stories created in the flashback can serve as elements in the game, setting, and future campaigns. These things will also tie in nicely to the Legacy of Far Away Land in which families and dynasties can be utilized as game elements...
Some things I am thinking about adding into this are: to make it a judged system based on points awarded by the players and the GM. Basically, players and GMs vote based on a series of criteria for the flashback. The vote indicates whether or not the PC gets a positive or negative modifier. Or, just the GM decides. I dunno.
The main thing is to create and stay in line with the progression of a particular character. The idea of power gaming and getting the most awesomely powerful character should be secondary (unless that is inline with the PC) to the creation of cool characters and narratives.
Here is a thread over on the rpg.net forums where we are discussing this new skill/flashback method...
So, that is the big skill update. Another big update is that of the core mechanic.
1d20 + 1/2 level + modifier, while it worked fine, it wasn't as elegant as I wanted. So, I simplified that as well. Now you roll 1d12 + modifier. That's it. Compare your roll to a TN and go from there. Skills and Stats get added into the roll for the total. All around, it is just a simpler more elegant system and in reality, the 1/2 level modifier was pointless as it added an element of level gaining that I wanted to avoid.
One more thing, if you haven't seen it, check out my deviantART page which has some artwork for the game.
Blogs I read...