Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mutants & Marvels 2.0 PDF is live

As of this morning, the Mutants & Marvels 2.0 PDF is now live at RPGNow!

As stated before, this new, expanded version of the game includes everything the previous edition did before, but with added content.  It should also be noted that combat has been revamped in some areas.  If you purchased the previous version, this should just be a free download for you.  If you have been considering buying this game, but haven't yet, now is a good time.

And, as always, if you buy it, or have bought it, please leave a review at RPGNow.  Thanks, and enjoy!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sneak Preview

I managed to get the cover image done.  It's not 100% perfect, and I'm not sure I will be able to get it up to the standards required for PoD through RPGNow, but I think it'll work for the PDF.  So, here it is.  A sneak preview for those who are interested. 

The rules are done.  And though I could probably find tidbits to add in here and there, I think I will leave it as is.  So, barring unforeseen obstacles, look for 2.0 to be available in PDF some time later this week at RPGNow.  PoD version TBD.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Preparing for a new arrival

No, the wife isn't pregnant (physically impossible without some surgery).  But I am working feverishly on Mutants & Marvels 2.0.  I've done a lot of additions and edits already.  And I finally got around to running the edits to Combat through some tests, and realized I needed more edits, and a couple of revamps.  I suspect that I will have all of that done in a week or so.  Maybe more.

Also got the new cover image drawn, inked and scanned.  Now I just need to add color, and put it into a proper cover file for uploading.

All of this has made me realize that the thing is taking longer than expected.  So, in the meantime, I have "unpublished" the PDF from RPGNow.  That was kind of a tough decision, since it consistently sells.  But, I realized that the more people that buy it at $4.99 (the current price), the more money I lose on future sales.

So, for now, M&M is completely unavailable for sale.  When I get the new file all complete, I will update the product and make it public again.  Those who bought it at $4.99 should be able to download the new version for free as an updated product.  The new version will cost more (probably looking at $9 or so), and will also have a new PoD version available through RPGNow, once I manage to get the cover images correct.

Admittedly, many of the recent delays have been largely thanks to my wife uploading Dragon Age: Origins onto my computer.  Talk about addicting...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Zine-O-Morph #2 Finally available!

After some consideration, deliberation, and procrastination, I finally put Zine-O-Morph #2 up at RPGNow.  It comes in a bit slimmer than #1 (26 pages, including the cover), but I think the content is solid.  I actually took a couple of pieces out that seemed to be too much for this undertaking.  I might make them PWYW offerings later.  Anyways, here's the skinny on #2:

The second issue of Zine-O-Morph serves as a primer for playing military-themed games, particularly in a Science Fiction setting.  The focus is on infantry-level play, but with some ideas that are universal to any military RPG.

Inside you will find details on command structure, rank, jargon and lingo, and the Phonetic Alphabet.  Also included is a section on running mercenaries and a mercenary game, and two new alien races to integrate as you see fit.  And, as a bonus, a short piece of military action fiction.

One thing to note, I have the price marked as $2.99 on the cover, but it's only $1.99.  If I do future issues, I will probably just stick with the $1.99 price point.  Especially if this issue sells as well as the first.

(As an aside, fellow Army grunts from a few years back might recognize the inspiration for the cover image.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

5E Race: Dwarfling

In an effort to see how easy it is to create a new class for D&D 5E, I decided to dust off a concept I came up with years ago for 2E, and see how it would fit into the new rules.  Below is the fruit of that labor.

(Interesting factoid, a "dwarfling" is an actual thing.  It's a term for a person with Dwarfism who is smaller than normal, even for a dwarf.)

“She’s a damn good cook. And after a long day in the mines, or a harrowing week on the battlefield, little else is more comforting.”Agnor the dwarf smiled.
“Except perhaps a full mug of icy ale.” Smirked his shield-brother, Jovik.
At that moment, Agnor’s wife, the halfling Bluella, brought a pair of mugs and set them on the table. Agnor encircled her curvy waste in his stout arm, and drew her close.
“Aye. The ale is good too.” He winked at Jovik, giving Bluella a squeeze. “Among other things.”

Born of the unlikely union between a dwarf and a halfling, the dwarfling is a unique blend of the hard and soft of his parents. As likely to favor one parent race over the other as he is to be an outcast that fits with neither, dwarflings are natural adventurers, who often seek the company of those who will accept them for who they are.

Tall and Stout
Though they range in height between their parent races, dwarflings, for whatever reason, tend towards the taller end of the scale, averaging a bit over four feet in height. Though not quite as stocky as dwarves, they are proportionately thicker than both halflings and humans.

Skin tones among dwarflings are as varied as they are among both parent races. Hair ranges from wavy to curly, and they only grow sparse facial hair, if at all. Generally, dwarflings are often mistaken for perpetually young, beardlesss dwarves.

Open-minded and Curious
Much like other halfbreeds (half-elves and half-orcs), a dwarfling’s outlook on the world and life will be highly dependent on which culture she was raised in. They are as likely to be laid back homebodies as they are stalwart and driven. However, dwarflings often have a strong sense of curiosity, and nearly every one of them develops wanderlust to some degree.

Regardless of what society they grow up in, dwarflings are fiercely loyal to those they befriend, even moreso than dwarves. Most likely due to their innate sense of not belonging, they are more open and accepting of strangers, especially those who are seen as outcasts by society.

Trusting and Loyal
Dwarflings don’t have a society of their own, and they are too rare to ever consider forming one. Therefore, they adapt to whichever society they are raised in. However, they are also known for questioning societal norms, which may cause some problems with authority figures.

Because the vast majority of (if not all) dwarflings are born from a loving union, they are very open to giving love and friendship. To a dwarfling, all friends are siblings, and they are treated as such. Sometimes to the chagrin of their parents, and members of their homeland.

Dwarflings are found in all of the normal types of occupations in both dwarf and halfling societies. However, they tend be somewhere in the middle between the extremes of industriousness normal to their parent race cultures.

A Desire to See Everything
Curiosity and wanderlust often pull dwarflings from their homes. And many are hesitant to put down roots in any one place for too long. Therefore, the adventuring life suits them well. Many dwarflings find that their innate curiosity makes it difficult to stay on task for too long. As such, many try different occupations throughout their lives, and a good number simply become bards and rogues.

Dwarfling Names
Dwarflings will usually take their first/given name from their mother’s race, and their family name from their father’s. See those descriptions for examples.

Dwarfling Traits
Your dwarfling character has several natural traits, unique to their physical nature.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma increases by 2, and your Constitution by 1.
Age: Dwarflings tend to live a little over 200 years, and reach maturity at around 20 years old.
Alignment. Despite both their parent races coming from Lawful cultures, dwarflings tend towards Neutral, simply because, in their experience, laws aren’t always perfect and are never the same in different places. However, nearly all dwarflings are Good.
Size. Dwarflings range between four and four and a half feet tall, and weight about 90 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision. Thanks to your dwarven blood, you can see 60 feet in dim light as if it were bright, and in darkness as if it were dim. You cannot discern colors in darkness, only shades of gray.
Charming. You are naturally charming, and give off a welcoming aura. You have advantage when interacting with strangers and hostile creatures.
Lucky. When you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die, but must use the new roll.
Dwarven Combat Training. Your dwarven parent has instructed you in proficiency with the battleaxe, handaxe, throwing hammer, and warhammer.
Languages. You are fluent in common, dwarven, and halfling.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Home Stretch

I've managed to make a lot of progress on Mutants & Marvels this past week.  The editing on the improved version is more-or-less done.  Yesterday, I think I managed to detail out the final piece that was missing from the Powers section (though I'm sure there are others).  I even managed to score some nifty artwork from an old friend.  Right now, the last step I have is to finish the new cover image to my liking.

I'm doing that one on my own.  I started by referencing some iconic images from comics, just to get the right body positions and overall shape.  I did a rough sketch in Photoshop, and then started digitally inking it.  But, I'm not very good at that, and it's really time-consuming for me.  So, I printed the rough sketch on paper, and started detailing the costumes and inking it with a pencil and pen.  It's looking good, and now I am just waiting for my wife to design her character's new costume, so I can implement it.  Then it's back to Photoshop for coloring.

From the very beginning, most of the artwork has been centered around characters created by myself and others for the now (sadly) defunct City of Heroes MMO (the original cover image was a commission of my main character, Dynamo-Man, and my wife's first character, Diana Cutthroat, who ended up being romantically involved in the game itself).  In fact, that game has even inspired a few elements in my writing (my city of New Sparta is meant as an homage to Paragon City).  In my mind, the "Avengers"/"Justice League" of the Mutants & Marvels setting is made up of heroes that I played and fought alongside in CoH.  I might even roll a few up, and include them in the final product as NPCs, or even playable characters.

(In fact, if you ever played CoH with me, and you would like one of your old characters to be immortalized in this game, or maybe a future supplement, roll him or her up and email me!)

But anyways, the revamp of the game is just about complete.  I hope to have it up at RPGNow soon, with a PoD version available there soon after (I have already taken down the Lulu version).  The new PoD version will be letter-sized, with B&W interior art.  Mainly because I find that I like that better, and it reminds me of the original game.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mutants & Marvels Walk-Thru

I opened up my blog page this morning, and was pleasantly surprised to see the cover of Mutants & Marvels sitting on my blog feed (over to the right, there).  So, of course I clicked through, and it turns out Realms of Chirak is doing a walk-thru of the game.  Sounds like he is enjoying it so far.  And better yet for my view, he's helping me see the weak points that I need to shore up for the new revision.  Thanks, Nicholas!

On a related note, I was jotting down some ideas I had for replacing the 1d20 mechanic with a 2d10 mechanic that should, statistically speaking, have similar results.  After walking through the possibilities, and incorporating ideas from various other systems, I like the flexibility of using 2d10 exclusively.  Lately, I have been enjoying the idea of using a single die-type for an entire game.  I admit that I love D&D for its use of all of them (which, I found out this past weekend, DCC takes even further), but there's something nice about having a single die, or in this case three dice, on the table, and that's it.

My original intent was to replace the d20 mechanic with a 2d10 mechanic in M&M.  But, I think I will leave it alone, and find somewhere else to use 2d10.  I have been flirting with a few other ideas for games, so it might fit into one of those.

Another interesting development in my scattered brain is the fact that during Gary Con, I was inspired with ideas for adventures to run using various games and systems.  While I was playing the 2E game, there was a guy running a Battletech/MechWarrior game at a nearby table, and it sounded like a lot of fun.  Which made me think of a Sci Fi scenario that I think would be cool.  I could also provide minis for use with it, which might make it extra cool.  I also revisited the starting adventure for an old campaign idea that I could use as a short one-shot.

I'm not sure if I am ready to run games for strangers (I'm pretty introverted IRL), but I might be able to get my gaming group to do a couple of one-offs in between our current campaign and the next.