Monday, December 30, 2019

Playtest: The Tall Tales of the Orochi Belt

I've wanted to explore the Action Vehicular combat rules for awhile, and there's no better way to do that than to use the actual rules that we've built up and run a game with them.  Furthermore, actually running a game helps me focus on what I actually need, and what actually matters.  A great deal of material comes from run games.  Finally, I've not put enough time into running games of late, as my family and work have been eating into what time I have, but with luck, I'll manage to schedule enough time to do this.

The Tall Tales of the Orochi Belt will be a (roughly) episodic mini-campaign.  I have three to five arcs planned, all episodic.  They follow in an obvious sequence, more or less, but it should be relatively easy to have players drop in and out as necessary.  The premise will be the liberation of a star system, the Orochi Belt, that features no planets to speak of, and thus all "space" action, ideal for testing out space combat rules.

The first session will be January 4th, and we already have 5 players.  As I get more details (such as who the characters are, other than one Kainian Space Knight and one Asrathi Witch-Cat Pirate), I'll tell more.  In the meantime, enjoy this introductory snippet:

Monday, December 16, 2019

Wiki Showcase: Redjack Robots

The final part of my military doctrine is, of course, robots, as I've previously discussed.  I had three major military-industrial "sets," and this completes the set with Redjack robots. As with ARC, I wanted to focus on "military" robots and these robots tend to stretch that definition a little, as they represent robots that assist in war more than directly fighting (with the exception of the Dredgecat, which is supposed to help at non-combat stuff, but ends up helping a lot in combat).

Redjack seeks to support asteroid miners, belters, colonists and aggressive entrepreneurship (but never space piracy!), as such, their doctrine focuses a lot on self-sufficiency and independence.  Most of their weapons double as tools, most of their vehicles can be customized and optimized for whatever specific task the owner wants, and their robots fit similar roles. Redjack robots learn to take care of themselves so you don't have to.  The downside is that they're (mostly) a bunch of surly cusses, with a few having darling hearts of gold.

You can see Redjack Robots here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wiki Showcase: ARC Robots Part 2

I'm on vacation, so you'll have to forgive me for missing my posting schedule.  With the announcement of a coming playtest, I've been busy putting all sorts of things on my wiki, so sometimes I forget to pop onto the blog and give you an update.

I have three ARC robots available to you on the wiki.  I discussed some of the the theory previously, but some commonalities:

  • All ARC robots are attractive in some capacity. These robots are as much fashion accessories as tools, so naturally a noble would want them to look good.
  • All ARC robots can talk.  Similar to their being attractive, ARC robots need to interface with people more than they need to interface with other machines.
  • All ARC robots are humanoid.  Similar to the above issues, ARC robots need to relate to humans, so they need humans to relate to them.  Thus, even when they look odd, they have an identifiable humanoid quality to them.  That said, they're always sculpted and one would never mistake an ARC robot for a human.

Monday, December 9, 2019

WIki Showcase: ARC Robots

Last week I discussed robots in general.  Today, I have two new Wiki posts available for you.  One discusses robots in general (which I probably should have launched last week) and one detailing ARC robots.

I wanted to showcase both because just discussing robots would probably repeat a lot of last week's material. Instead, I wanted to discuss the "rubber-meets-the-road" reality of how I put last week's ideas into practice, and use ARC as an example.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Wiki Showcase: the Fighter Ace

If you're a Disciple or better on Patreon, you already know that I've announced the coming playtest for the Action Vehicular Rules: Tall Tales of the Orochi Belt. I'll detail more as we come closer to the first session. Naturally, to run this playtest, I need to work out the sorts of characters that would use all these fighters we've been builing, and that means working out the Fighter Ace and putting it on the Wiki.

This was actually the first of the new templates I revised for Iteration 7. I started working on it after I finished the Action Vehicular Rules, because it changed a lot of how they functioned, and I wanted to capture that.  That said, it's probably changed the least of the new templates; mostly, I just migrated the advantage/disadvantage choices based on who they worked for to lenses, and updated their techniques to use the new techniques.  I've removed the "Maverick, Wingman, Bomber" distinctions of their techniques as I expect everyone to be adult enough to understand what to do with that, and I've discussed that in their customization notes (this could be expanded, though).  I've integrated their "Power-ups" into the template rather than leave them as distinct, "Fighter Ace only" upgrades (this means they lose their "fighter gizmos," but we can bring that back if people really miss them).  I do intend to create a "cross-class" fighter ace specialization, so people who want to play as space knights who can also fly fighters can do so.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Psi-Wars: Let's Talk Robots

When I set out to do the military doctrine project, I knew I would need to break it down into the following pieces:

  • Weapons
  • Armor
  • Ground Vehicles
  • Space Vehicles
  • Robots
Realistically, I'd also add the resources and machinery that make it all possible.  A factory and the supply line is as much a part of a military doctrine as a rifle or a tank is, and those with superior factories and supply lines win wars just as well as those with superior tanks and rifles.  But given that players don't interact much with these, I figured we could push them into the background a bit (in a sense, the "corporations" providing all of these stand in for the factories and supply lines).

We've completed everything but robots, which represent a unique element to our doctrines.  Robots are fairly new, militarily speaking, though I can say with confidence that we do use robots militarily right now (there's a 21st century sentence if I ever read one), and a lot of time and research goes into perfecting those robots.  We see them more obviously in Star Wars, which has a rather unique take on robots, if I'm honest, as it integrates them directly into the military infrastructure: an R2-unit is a military robot, meant to interface with a fighter (fighters even have socked specifically designed for R2 units). It doesn't fight directly, but it definitely aides in military operations.

I wanted to mimic that in Psi-Wars.  Robots assist people in Psi-Wars like mobile, intelligent tools.  I built the ARC fighters and the Redjack fighters with the assumption of robotic assistance.  Similarly, many ARC vehicles come with med-bays, which suggests a need for a medical robot.  Thus, we can see robots as part of an integrated whole: an ARC-equipped space knight, as one example, is surrounded by tools that assist him in battle, from his force sword to his diamondoid armor to his medivac vehicle that tends to his wounds or his speeder bike that rushes him to the enemy to his fighter or his carrier that brings him to the right system, to his robot that maintains his fighter or assists him in donning his complex armor.

So I wanted to take some time to stop and revisit robots.  I've talked about them already back in Iteration three and looking back on that material, it's pretty good.  Sometimes I look at old material and cringe, but sometimes I look back and go "Oh, I need to remember that" or "Oh, that's actually pretty useful."  This was the same here, so I found myself reusing a lot of material.  Over the next few weeks, I'll touch on some of those topics and expand them.  Today, I'm going to talk about some polling I've done of the community, why I took the route that I did with my design and what some other routes might be, and how I broadly see robots fitting into the integrated Psi-Wars setting.

I wanted to immortalize these words

Every one of these (Star Wars) movies is a particularly hard nut to crack. There’s no source material. We don’t have (Star Wars) comic books. We don’t have 800-page (Star Wars) novels. We don’t have anything other than passionate storytellers who get together and talk about what the next iteration might be.” --Kathleen Kennedy
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...