Intrigue, Part 1

One of the hardest things I've had to deal with so far in plotting out American Auror is in keeping the individual adventures intriguing. I've got plenty of story ideas at the campaign level, but I realized quickly that my normal adventure style of starting a bad event in motion and then letting the party investigate and deal with the event as they see fit wouldn't work here. I have to keep the pace moving, keep things tense, and most importantly make the party feel like they were constantly behind the bad guys. I have to provide a constant stream of villains and plots operating outside of the "normal" world's view - to quote Tommy Lee Jones in MIB - "There's always an Aquillian battle cruiser. Or a Corillian death ray. Or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet. And the only way these people can got on with their happy lives is that they. do not. know about it." In short, if I want to keep the party from charging in guns blazing and confronting problems in public, head on the way they normally do, then I need to ramp up the intrigue and make each adventure a guessing game.

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Dynamo Updated

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I've been distracted lately in working on Dynamo, which is the system I developed for NaGaDeMon. Like GENERALA before it, it's kind of taken on a life of it's own once people started playing it. Originally, the Dynamo rules document was a two-page slapdash thing that introduced character creation and the basics of game play. Unfortunately, while that was fun to put together, unless your game consists almost entirely of players telling each other stories that short of a document doesn't cover enough. There were a few topics that people who played with the brief rules wanted clarification on.

What were my thoughts on just punching someone without using a power? How many points should GM's spend on villains and minions? When do defeated characters get to rejoin the game?

Unfortunately, these are important questions for the kind of game I've written.

So I've gone back to the drawing board and, returning to the golden age inspirations I called on before, I redesigned and expanded the rules document. I've padded out the text to get away from the vague hand-waving and include some actual rulings on different behaviors. It's still a pretty lite system, but I think it's more solid and playable now.

I'll move the document over to my games page when I find the time to do the artwork up proper.

 

In the meantime, you can download the post-Beta Dynamo PDF here.

 

Be sure to drop me a note here or on G+ if you dig the system.

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Uncle Dungeoning Ma’att – #13 The City of the Dead

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Being dead twice in as many hours can have an affect on a person. As I said before, nephew, the first experience had a profound impact on me, one which I wish to process further before commenting on.

My second experience, which I had as I was pulled down under the mountain, bouncing along the caves with the rushing waters, was far more prosaic. I dreamt, as a floated through the darkness, that I was being carried along by many hands. Then, for a moment, I was flying, to be caught by a beautiful mermaid. She kissed me deeply, and I could feel the fire of her kiss spreading down into my chest.

Again, one need not stretch one’s imagination too far to discern the imagery my mind placed on the events my body was undoubtedly going through. Still, it was a beautiful dream.

It’s a shame then that the first face I saw upon my return to the land of the living was that of Baleban.

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Campaign idea I’ll never use – Mystery Sentai

The characters are local civil servants of various types who work in an office building on the edge of town. It's ancient, few people work there, and there's constant wonder that it hasn't been closed down to save money. Then, one day, they're in a garage area that nobody goes to and suddenly a door opens that they didn't see there before.

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Campaign idea I’ll never use – Elementary, Dear Data

The players are asked to restat one of their favorite previous characters and email the GM with a small bio and a bit about where the character was when last they left them. At the start of game play, all players hand their character sheet and bio to the person to their left.

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Campaign idea I’ll never use – Praying to the wrong gods

The gods are back, and they're wrecking shit.

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Uncle Dungeoning Ma’att – #12 The Warren

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As a man of science, I find myself, more often than not, on the side of rational behavior and not following the footsteps of men more prone to foolhardy actions. In short, nephew, left to my own devices I would choose cowardice over heroism every time.

However, despite my enlarged sense of self preservation, even I could not deny that I owed a debt to Ferguson. To abandon him at this point without at least making the effort to help would be tantamount to an outright rejection of our friendship.

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Campaign idea I’ll never use – Moonbillies

Geo-political conflict causes Earth to lose contact with its moon colonies.

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Campaign idea I’ll never use – A Little Peace and Quiet

The characters can stop time because of science.

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Campaign idea I’ll never use – The Lost Treasure

The party are looking for a lost island ruin. They discover that one man actually visited the ruins and can tell them exactly where it is - the only problem is that he's a scurvy pirate scallywag known for his drunken rages, but equally known for his detailed diary.

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