Archives for: July 2009
July 31st, 2009
Published on July 31st, 2009 @ 01:53:16 am , using 368 words, 299 views
Just came back from a business trip and I wanted to make a few comments about Goodman and the HOC module for sale.
Firstly, Conan and I wrote that the full 30 page module over two weeks. We created the characters and tested the game with our group and others. We enjoyed the experience and think it's a perfectly playable module that really offers something different from other on the market. We paid for the art including that awesome Nick Greenwood cover.
Goodman published this module. He paid for the editor, the layout. 500 Free RPGDay boxes...12 Amethyst modules a box. That is a sizeable investment for a free giveaway. At first, I wondered if selling it was wise. Then I thought about it and I realized it was. It was free on free RPG day. I don't think it's fair for those that went to the event that, that waited in line, to realize they could have gotten it for free and without hassle if they only waited a month. That being said, it's too bad some people got screwed...going to the event, spending money for a bus, only to not get one. It sucks. Hell, I don't have a copy. Seriously, I don't. Conan gave his to his grandparents and I gave mine to Gnome's Stew. This is our first product for sale through Goodman technically, so I hope it does well. I hope fans that don't already own this will pick it up...and review it. Maybe a good review. Remember to pick up the add-on as well.
In addition, I also hope people will go to their local book stores, game stores, and hobby stores, and request the book. Have them call their supplier and inquire. Make its demand known. That WILL...I mean WILL affect its print run and availability...which will affect our sales. Goodman may be large, but DEM is among you all...trying to make an impact, and we need the support from our fans. With this, we can deliver the two other Amethyst books we have planned, the module I have half-written, and...hopefully, NeuroSpasta as well. These next few weeks are vital...for you all, and us. Thanks again...
July 28th, 2009
Published on July 28th, 2009 @ 03:07:51 am , using 28 words, 220 views
For all of those you curious, Hearts of Chaos is now available for sale on RPG Now as a downloadable PDF. It's being sold at a very reasonable $4.99.
July 27th, 2009
Published on July 27th, 2009 @ 02:33:06 am , using 813 words, 294 views
Today, I begin a series of articles on the details of the NeuroSpasta setting, specifically around many of the philosophical points being presented.
Archon is considered the prototype of not only a new government, but a new mindset. It is considered by proponents and critics alike as the catalyst for the slow elimination of ethnic groups and traditional values. This is due not only by the city's policy, but by its level of technological advancement and that advancement's effect on its population and state of mind. Archon is not alone in this trend, though it is considered the trailblazer. Other progressive municipalities, like Tokyo, Berlin, and Brasilia, although following this similar trend, and decades ahead of most of the rest of planet, still pales in the progress of Archon, the test bed of nearly every technological breakthrough not subsidized or controlled by one government. The most obvious and significant example of this development is the SEED, which is prevalent in 99% of the working population of Archon, more than any other region on Earth. Archon also has a largest ratio of prosthetics and virtuants, though Japan still prides itself the largest manufacturer and operator of robots. With no history to call its own, Archon became the refuge of millions seeking a new life or to escape their old one, thus the draw by those with questionable ethnicity. As the development of cybernetics increased and the potential of the Seed expanded into regions the designers thought possible, yet the public was not expecting the mindsets of the residents of Archon began to differ from those living in traditional nations. This included their concepts of free will, consumerism, self-identity, and the definition of what makes one human.
When the SEED prototype was revealed, it was advertised as the greatest single advancement of mankind since the internet, not in as much as the breakthroughs of cybernetics and nanotechnology, but in its potential effect on the human race. Before, internet users were limited to sharing clumsily worded blogs or ineffectual data bursts of 140 characters. More devoted supporters would upload and share video and music files across massive social networking sites. With the SEED, such archaic social circles became obsolete. Not only could every brain be a hub of social interaction, but there was no longer a limit of which human senses to convey. With the SEED's capacity to record incoming stimuli, new networking sites that popped up strained the bandwidths of current internet providers. By then, traffic had already reached a point of hundreds of petabytes of data being moved across the planet every minute. The entire planet would have to share the workload to meet the demands of the new generation. There were few networks which were rooted entirely in one location, facilitating the demand for even more powerful central computers, which led to gargantuan servers like MCP and SIM. Of them all, MCP was the largest, and designed to handle such huge amounts of information. It became the home of nearly every social interacting site in the world. With a free and virtually unlimited refuge of data, the amount of uploadable information skyrocketed, which resulted in even more consumers purchasing and installing SEEDS. The majority of this uploaded information came in the form of human memory, which users were recording and uploading at an alarming rate. Not just the venue of pornography, these memory-swaps grew in size as people began uploading their vacations, sports victories--any event that someone else could find entertaining. Eventually, even the mundane found demand. Some users got to uploading every single moment of their lives online, in some insane drive for immortality. A user wishing to access the memory need only stream it from the site and experience it as fresh as if he or she were living in the moment.
The fear emerged quickly that people would stop living their own lives and the true progress of civilization would only experienced by a handful and shared with the mindless masses below. They would unplug themselves from their more interesting surrogate to eat and sleep and resume following the loves and pains of the one that actually lived. A later modification made the addition even more alluring, when a brilliant programmer by the name of Akira Okuda developed the TCA protocol. Okuda had attention deficit disorder and had grown impatient with his streaming memoires. The Time Compression algorithm software became standard with GNOSOS 1.2. Okuda had calculated how fast a human being could receive and process a memory and developed a system which streamed the incoming memory much faster than real time. To the viewer, the memory appeared normal and the experience was "lived" in normal time, but when disengaged from the memory, less than a fifth the time had actually passed. Now the concern would be that people wouldn't make room for their own memories, only download more from others.
End part 1...
July 23rd, 2009
Published on July 23rd, 2009 @ 01:50:55 am , using 29 words, 197 views
Hey, some guys over on the Wizards of the Coast official site started a play-by-post version of Amethyst's Hearts of Chaos module. Check it out. It's actually pretty awesome...
July 22nd, 2009
Published on July 22nd, 2009 @ 07:45:10 pm , using 622 words, 166 views
Eighteen groups are currently playtesting NeuroSpasta. So far, feedback has been positive and useful. There have been quite a few issues we have tried to deal with. Some of them relate to Amethyst.
The most notable of these have dealt with ammunition usage and firearm damage.
I have noticed quite a few homebrew gamers working on their own variation of modern weapons. In every situation, we here at DEM have felt the damage outputs of these weapons have been remarkably high. Simply put, there is this common belief that a 9mm round will do two or three times more damage than say, a broadsword.
When did this occur?
Comparing a pistol to a short sword and saying the pistol should do more damage makes little sense to me. Compare a Heavy machine gun to a katana? The only advantage a firearm has to a melee weapon is range. When it came to actual physical damage to an unarmed opponent, the melee weapon wins. Yet I see these damage capacities for weapons listed as 2d10 and 3d6. Yes, pistols in Amethyst and NeuroSpasta do 1d4 - 1d6. Two-handed weapons like rifles and small machine guns do 1d8. Heavy machine guns do 1d8 to 2d6. Amethyst has enhancements so that a railgun is a +4 weapon and a laser is a +5 weapon. Further, NeuroSpasta has both hardness values and armor penetration so that a pistol cannot damage a tank while a tank will utterly destroy a normal person.
The other point was ammo. Simply put, we didn't want to confuse issues so rapid fire weapons were always in increments of 5 but even adding additional rounds, the damage increase was not severe. This was because we didn't want the damage capacities of firearms to get away from us. In the end, your powers will dictate your high-damage hits, not the weapons. This was another fact people seemed to forget. In Amethyst, yes, a machine gun does 1d8...but certain powers with them are 6[W]. That's an insane amount of damage from only 10 bullets. The other point is that ammunition usage can really get away from you. If you do an area effect with a heavy weapon, targeting 6 guys and you go full out with Burst fire, you just used 90 rounds of ammunition in 6 seconds. That seems a lot, right? Check out the M-60 and see how many rounds of ammunition it can fire in 5 seconds (here's a hint, its 92). Thankfully, there is also a feat which reduces this number. Yes, this means you'll be changing clips. Yes this means you may run out of ammo. This is the problem you must contend with in a modern game with firearms.
Another issue was movement. In both Amethyst and NeuroSpasta, if you move before you fire your weapon, you incur a -1 penalty to attack rolls. This means if you don't want this penalty, you will have to shoot first and then move on your round. Heavy weapons are even worse; it's a -4 penalty if you move before shooting. Yes, its high...it's almost useless to even shoot. That's the point. Despite what you have seen in movies, it is nearly impossible to fire a heavy weapon while running at full speed. Thankfully, certain classes suppress or decrease this penalty. In Amethyst, the Grounder ignores the penalty of two handed small-arms and heavy weapons are treated as two-handed small arms. In NeuroSpasta, both the Heavy and Man-At-Arms classes feature similar rules (the Heavy gains it with heavy weapons; Man-At-Arms gains it with two-handed small arms). We were more worried about ammunition usage in Amethyst because players have to buy everything. In NeuroSpasta, bullets flow like water.
Next time, I talk philosophy again...
...I can hear you groaning...
July 14th, 2009
Published on July 14th, 2009 @ 01:37:02 am , using 160 words, 548 views
Those interested in getting into NeuroSpasta's playtesting should email us at Dias Ex Machina. They will receive an exclusive playtest module, "Biohazard". This is a simple, two-three day adventure not set in the NeuroSpasta setting but uses its game mechanics. Interested groups should play it, see how it feels and send back feedback on the module and the game mechanics. We will then pick a handful of groups based on history, punctuality, and quality of feedback. They will receive the actual playtesting rules after signing the NDA. We are doing this in hopes of finding groups we can actually rely upon.
As I hope you all know, the logo was previewed on Gnome Stew last week. We gave them a black background image and are using a blue for ours...which is more reflective of the cover currently being worked on. The Games page was expanded with a NeuroSpasta page.
And no, there is still no release date for it...
July 1st, 2009
Published on July 1st, 2009 @ 01:34:21 am , using 67 words, 322 views
A lot of people have been asking if the our well-received Free RPG Module "Hearts of Chaos" is going to be offered outside of the event. I just found out, it will be made available. The HOC module will be released in mid July in PDF. It "should" include both the print module and the download package. If not, you can still down the supplement from us.