Thursday, October 4, 2018

Updates from The Magician's House

My posting here continues to be scant, but I've kept busy on the role-playing front.  I continue to press forward with The Magician's House, my homemade DCC adventure.  I've been making successive editing passes.  It still needs to lose some weight, but I can't do much better without a paradigm shift.  More on that later.

The outside of TMH looks nowhere near this nice...

In any case, here's the very latest and probably final public version of The Magician's House.  You see all these links, right?

I may add a detail or two (like an overhead map of the entire thing), but as I said, this is probably the last glimpse of a public version like this.  The reason for this is because I'm getting professional help from an experienced RPG editor.  I'll introduce him here once we formalize the relationship, but my editor is currently reading through the text and coming up with feedback.

For now, I'm hoping to release this as Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) on DriveThruRPG, so I'm planning to limit my expenses to an editor and perhaps cover art.  Any day now, I'll have to start trawling the public domain for interior art.  I'm waiting to see the shape of my editor's feedback before I invest too deeply in matching the text.

There's still work to be done with layout.  I hope to get advice about this from my editor; he has told me that he has someone in mind who I might contact about the cover art.  And I really don't know what to do about the current maps.  I created them with Dungeon Painter Studio, so I might have to concern myself with licensing or at least some kind of legally-obligated "shout-out."

On the other hand, those maps may be serviceable, but they are ugly as sin (no fault of the software; I'm not exactly a graphic designer).  If my editor has any suggestions, I might consider some professional work.  

But I imagine that will be out of my budget.  This is going to be PWYW; if there's sufficient interest, maybe I'll spend the money to hire commercial artists for the maps and interior and put out a PWIW version.  But at this point, there's no reason to get ahead of ourselves.

I am informed that this guy is a faerie wuxia paladin, thus checking all the boxes

So that's what's going on with my big DCC adventure project.  Since I've put my pen down on that, for the moment, I've been occupying myself with creating a bite-sized chunk of DCC content.  In this case, it's a new class I call the mystical warrior.  It's meant to be a flexible archetype, adaptable to everything from paladins to wuxia heroes.

I like how it's coming, but a bunch of work is still needed before the unveiling.  The class basically has its own spells, though they work a little differently.  The mystical warrior has a Feat Die, which serves a similar function to the warrior's Deed Die in combat.  For instance, it is rolled with every attack to determine a bonus to hit and damage.

However, it's used for a lot more.  Instead of Mighty Deeds, mystical warriors can perform Feats of War.  These are like Deeds, but they are more constrained and more powerful.  Like a spell, ascending values of the Feat Die lead to significantly more potent effects.  For instance, the Mighty Blow feat causes explosions that damage those nearby if the roll is high enough.

In addition, mystical warriors learn Feats of Spirit, which are more like spells.  They take longer to cast (usually about one turn) and aren't quite as dramatic as spells - things like Laying on Hands, Exorcism, Summoning, Telepathy, Astral Projection, etc.  They can be fast-cast in a round, but it incurs high levels of spellburn.

All these abilities are powered by this Feat Die, and the mystical warrior can burn Personality to boost the roll.  Like the Deed Die, rolls less than 3 signify failure, but for the Feat Die, a roll of 1 also means that the feat cannot be performed the rest of the day.

Anyway, the rules are basically in place, but working on these feats is what is taking time.  Mystical warriors currently have 11 Feats of War and 13 Feats of Spirit.  They all describe spell-like effects for each roll value of 3 through 8.  So that's what's taking time.

I think it's a pretty cool concept and I look forward to trying it out.  I'll be sure to post when it's fresh out of the oven.

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