Saturday, 2 June 2018

Flow chart concept

Have finessed the rules flow chart concept.

Blue boxed indicate roll is required.

Green paths = positive/affirmative outcome.

Red paths = negative outcome.

Further enhancements might include: links/reference to relevant rules, illustration, clearer segregation of components/stages.
 

The Damage and Injury Table

Most in-game outcomes in BREAK!! are resolved with Checks and Contests.

The Injury/Damage table is one of the few exceptions.

In combat, if you are reduced to zero hearts, you roll and injury. Subsequent hits incur additional Injury rolls but with a different result spread (leaning towards more severe outcomes)

Anyway, being indulgent with the design.



Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Overland Travel Rules. Communicating ideas

At the end of the Overland Travel section (or as an appendix) I want to include an overview of the procedure for quick reference, and to show how the mechanics slot together.

I am investigating 2 formats (in raw form here)

A linear check list.
A process flow.

The checklist is boring but easy to follow.


The flow chart is visually interesting but intimidating (but an interesting exercise!)

Thinking I'll add more visual appeal to the checklist or simplify the flow chart.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

What we've been working on

We've had a long stretch of invisible activity, so I thought it'd be nice to post an update on what's going on for the sake of all those following.

  • The big one is the main book itself. You've probably seen screenshots of our alpha stuff - what's happened is that Grey has taken all of what I've written, transferred it into a PDF via some crazy docs-flow wizardry and is now slowly working through the resulting document and adding art, layout, and so forth - as well as making the text fit. After he's done I'll probably go through once or twice and tweak text again because I'm a jerk like that and we'll have something for people to look at and edit.
  • I am sorry this is slow, but remember that it is just Grey and I working on BREAK!!. If one of us has some busy hiccup in like it puts a whole on things for a bit. It's because of this we've decided on doing smaller books from here on out.
  • Speaking of those smaller books, I've more or less finished the draft of a Companion book filled with how to's and Game Master nonsense which should probably see the light of day soon after the main book. Trouble in Sprocket (our first adventure type thing) is more or less drafted, I just have to put the finishing touches on it. It reflects how I'd like all our adventure releases to be; a scenario within a larger area that can be used for further adventures.
  • Sometime ago I wrote a little solitaire adventure for BREAK!! that I thought might be good for the rule book. We went for something different, but I thought it might be something I could release as a sort of preview for the game, so I've been touching that up too. Keep your eyes peeled because if I turns out alright I'll be letting everyone know where to get it. 
One of the two characters for the solitaire adventure
Thanks again to everyone reading for their interest and patience - here's hoping we don't let you down!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Tidbits

The last few weeks have been a lot of writing non-core stuff for me, so since I don't have a really good pertinent update I figured I could post some stranded bits I'd thrown out on various social media:

Adoption is informal and very common in the Outer World. This is mainly due to an abundance of families who are unable to bear children for a variety of reasons (same sex couples, inter-species relationships, chronic heroism, so on and so forth) and an alarming amount of orphaned individuals (the Outer World can be a dangerous and unpredictable place).
This means the concept of family itself has become pretty broad. It has brought the folk closer together in general; in a world where chibs and bruun can be brothers and sisters, it seems silly to fight over trivial things,
It also means that your human character may have been raised by a happily married couple consisting of a ghost and a robot.

In BREAK!! - you have your Hearts, which are basically a buffer for damage, representing luck, courage, and gusto. Once those are depleted you start taking injuries (or damage, if you’re a synthetic character). Enough injuries/damage can render you inert or kill you, of course. Hearts are fully restored at the start of every dangerous situation, and lots of magic and items can give you a bonus heart or two. Injuries/Damage does not - you either have to get them treated by someone trained or you have to take downtime actions to rest to heal them. A few spells assuage them for a time, but these are temporary solutions.
Hence why I say it’s harsher - it’s not gritty or anything, but a lot of games give you ways of restoring yourself instantly. BREAK!! doesn’t,
Status Ailments in BREAK!! are another harsh but not terribly gritty thing. I wanted to skew a bit more fantastic/animated, as well as have ones that make things odd or challenging rather than totally debilitating - so you might end up becoming a slime version of yourself, squashed into a chibi like state, blown up like a balloon, or randomly acting in ways counter to what you are trying to accomplish. Of course, some of the classics are in there too (being turned to stone/calcified over time, being blinded/deafened, etc) but I was careful when implementing them.

The 1st Aeon was a time of little order - beyond the intrinsic nature of mortal shape and finiteness, everything was at the capricious whim of the Unshaped. This changed with the actions of Regulus, the first hero. Not only did his rebellion against his former peers force them into physical form, it solidified the formerly liquid nature of reality itself. This was the creation of Fate, an invisible hierarchy that influenced the actions and consequences of the Outer World’s inhabitants.
Fate was an ever present force, but not a direct one. It would empower various individuals (predominantly Chosen Ones and their “villainous” counterparts) and encourage them towards certain actions via contrivance and coincidence. These actions were machinations in a cosmic cycle, one where the dominance of Light and Dark was in constant flux. This cycle was meant to be unending, a symphony which would vary somewhat in sound but never in basic structure. But the folk unknowingly defied this idea again and again, forming societies and taking initiatives that made Fate’s key players increasingly less relevant.
Some theorize that the catastrophic actions of Regulus during the 3rd Cataclysm were as much spurred on by the ragged remains of Fate as his own initiative. Indeed, this once omnipresent force now clings to him like a mournful wraith, only occasionally extending its influence to bitterly pull its chosen towards catastrophe and ruin.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

BREAK!!cast Round up!

For those who might have missed these, all three podcasts where I answered questions about BREAK!! are linked here:

BREAK!!cast 1 -Where Sam and I talk about character options.
BREAK!!cast 2 - Where Kelsey, Produce and I talk about system stuff and the Shadowlands
BREAK!!cast 3 - Where Kiel and I talk about Game Master-centric stuff.

Thanks for listening everyone!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

BREAK!!Cast Q&A Part II

A second podcast answering questions! This time with the help of two local playtesters. Audio is a little bad this time, so I do apologize for that. I still hope it's informative!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Play Example - Crafting

One thing in BREAK!! I'm pretty excited for but feel I've not talked enough about is Crafting. I wanted to make it so people could create their own gear without it being too much of a hassle mechanically. At the same time, I wanted it to encourage adventure - or at the very least, be the end product of one. So here's a brief example of how a player character made "Imbued Item" (as opposed to the unique "Relics" that a GM throws around, classic Reynaldo what with having his cake and eating it too) comes about.

Wumble Eveready, at your service!


The Scene

Wumble Eveready managed to snag a prism feather during the party’s last outing. This brilliant plumage can enhance someone’s speed if utilized correctly! Always seeking a way to stay a step ahead of danger, Green decides that Wumble will try and make an Outfit with them.

  1. What are you making?
    • Wumble is the practical sort, so he is attempting to create a an Extreme Weather (Cold) Outfit to incorporate the feathers into. This will take the form of a thick tunic and cloak.
    • Green decides it will be called the “Hued Hood”, because alliteration is fun and it alludes to the Prism Feather used to create it.
  2. Where are you making it?
    • Wumble will do his Tailoring at the party’s room at a local inn since it does not require a Workshop.
  3. What are you using to make it?
    • 2 Units of Twilight Silk, 1 Prism Father and a single use of a Crafter’s Toolkit will go into creating Wumble’s Outfit. Green erases these from his character sheet.
  4. Roll your Check!
    • Wumble is using his Crafting Prodigy Ability to create the Hued Hood. This Ability allows him to use either his Deftness or Insight (whichever is higher) when crafting. Wumble is sharp-eyed and careful, so Green chooses Insight.
  5. Success or Failure?
    • Green Rolls right below Wumble’s Insight, meaning the Outfit is successfully created! He jots down the stats for the Hued Hood and it’s ready to go for the next session.

The Hued Hood

This Extreme Weather (Cold) Outfit is a cloak, cowl, and tunic in one. A rainbow plumed feather is incorporated into the clasp. It was designed to be worn by a small character, but can be easily taken out a bit to fit a normal sized one.
  • The Hued Hood shifts in color in response to the level of light, becoming brightly colored in direct sunlight and darkening in accordance with its surroundings. (Twilight Silk)
  • Anyone wearing the Hued Hood has their Speed Rating increased by a single step. (Prism Feather)

Sunday, 28 January 2018

BREAK!!cast Q&A (Part 1)

Just a quick update today, I did a short podcast answering questions about BREAK!!, and perhaps plan on doing more. Maybe a couple for different mechanics and stuff as well? Who knows, depends on how long I can stand the sound of my own voice.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

The Mana Inequity Principle

Just finished up a little extra bit for the setting on the philosophies and such floating around BREAK!!'s setting, and I thought this part would be fun to share: basically it's an in-game explanation between the discrepancy in abilities between "normal" folk and the main players in a campaign.

The Mana Inequity Principle
A stark truth of Outer World is that certain individuals can do things that others just can’t. Seasoned casters will spend their whole life studying at Magia’s university to master a few spells, while some cocky hedgewizard will have just as many under their belt with a fraction of the practice. Veterans of multiple wars will watch in awe as a youthful waif leaps along rooftops and displays master level swordplay to topple a flying beast, and so forth.

Both light and dark mana flow through all things, but it lingers longer and empowers certain individuals more than others. This leads to heightened physical ability, rapid personal growth and supernatural talent with magic and other skills. While these facts are easy to see, a question remains: why does this imbalance exist?

Early assumptions were attributed it to spiritual enlightenment or being chosen by fate, but ancient studies and modern observation have proven that mana attunement is not connected by these factors. In fact, there seems to be little or no consistency between those gifted few. Mana is as alive as any of us, after all, and is just as subject to whim and capriciousness as the folk are.

  • Arcane Progressivism
    • There is much debate as to exactly what a mana attuned individual should be doing. The most popular answer is “Whatever they like”, but in a close second is the primary edict of Arcane Progressivism, a philosophy created by prominent Akenian philosopher Dizah Gren.
    • It proclaims that all magic, including that which is under the power of an individual, should be used for the betterment of all folk. While there are numerous interpretations of the limits and responsibilities entwined with this line of thinking, its intent has inspired many a great hero (and more than a few villains!)

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Scripts of Outer World

Been messing with fantasy scripts so I can pepper the book's locations and artifacts with internally consistent(ish) runes, glyphs and text.

***

High Akenian: This language of a Ruined Empire is now only used for deciphering ancient tomes and runes. It’s flowery prose is beloved by linguists.

Design notes: Pentagonal construction, calligraphic, assembled into magical mandalas.


***
Bright Speech (left): The chosen tongue of the Devas and servants of the Light. A powerful, bombastic language that makes every sentence a decree.

Design notes: All capitals, Roman-Greco influence. 

Dark Tongue (right): Spoken by the Asura, the dead and the curious. It’s seductive whispering makes even the most horrible suggestions sound tempting.

Design notes: Snaking line with only typographic descenders.  



***
Biosorcerous formulae (left): Used for recording magical molecular structures by Calian flesh manipulators.

Design notes: Based on structural formula, needs a touch of shahmukhi!

Dream Call (right): Perhaps the first language, perhaps not. Haunting and poetic it’s used exclusively by the strange and Unshaped.

Design notes: Organic cloud like shapes that are sometimes abstract sometimes figurative.


***
Hoshi-Ban: This odd, speedy chatter was brought to Outer World by the Rai-Neko, from a Place Beyond the Sky.

Design notes: Quick to speak and write, evolved from this cat-like species early tree markings, cuneiform-ish. 


***
Fade Song: This melodious tongue  is famous for its onerous syntax which transforms the simplest sentence into a wondrous tale.

Design notes: Musical waves, written in continuous lines or 'ribbons'.  


***
Gleysian Code: The fallen Technocracy of Gley used an efficient, functional language. It’s used today to decode Techo-Relic instruction manuals.

Design notes: Runes based on nine point grid, dots added for circuit board vibes, vertical and horizontal construction lines. Diagonal variant.


***
Under Warble: Under Warble is constantly evolving tongue with many dialects spoken in the Buried Kingdoms.

Design notes: Geologically inspired symbols. Dwarves (left) use more strict geometric forms, Goblins (right) use looser more spikey shapes.


***
Creator’s Script: This written language of odd glyphs is found only in documents left behind by The Creator. An ancient enchantment prevents it from being spoken aloud.

Design notes: Technical, machine readable script. Uses colour in syntax. 

***
Randoms!

Design notes: May or may not find a use for these... 



Tuesday, 28 November 2017

More Thoughts on Setting

A brief discussion on TRPG settings the other day actually had me feeling a bit at odds with a number of posters involved - in no means a bad way, as exchanges were pleasant and of the "this is my preference" variety rather than the "this is the absolute truth" you see so often in hobbyist debate - but still, I was much more invested in things than I normally am, especially since it revolved around The Outer World, BREAK!!'s standard setting.

A significant number of people expressed desire of a fully (or at least well detailed) area being more useful than a more zoomed out view of the world. There are a number of good reasons for this thinking, and I believe it is a reasonable and worthwhile viewpoint.

In contrast however, The BREAK!! rulebook provides a sort of broad overview of The Outer World, each known realm is covered more or less equally and the numerous factions and odd geography is outlined.

There are two big reasons for this (beyond my own stubbornness):
  • There is a setting chapter, but the setting itself leaks all over the rest of the book. The Callings, Species, Gear, Character Origins - all connect to the Outer World in someway. Not so much that they could not be divorced from it by an enterprising gaming group, but enough that the Setting Section itself ends up being a sort of net to bring that information together to make it more meaningful overall.
  • Even straight, out of the box character creation will yield characters of numerous archetypes and homelands. This is intentional, as an underlying theme of the game is people of various backgrounds coming together to do cool things. I feel like having one part of the world featured as the "main setting" would take away from this; that part of the world would seem more real, the rest becoming "exotic" by proxy.
However, as a compromise there is a small region that is presented afterwards as a sample map. This area includes numerous adventuring sites, settlements, hooks and a random encounter chart (with monster stats, even!). The hope is that this provides a place that can be used right off the bat, but also gives people a chance to see how to take the world and themes provided by the book and make it into something game-able. 

I do worry this might undermine my previous reasons just a bit, but I can't deny it's utility. My hope is providing it as a sample of what you can do (rather than as a definitive) will let me have my cake and eat it too.

(As always, I thank poor Grey for indulging me with this; I always end up making more work for him!)

Friday, 24 November 2017

Corrections... with pen!

I still can't judge a drawing on a screen, issues become more apparent on printed page.



Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mini comic strip for monster entries

Toying with idea of a few panels to communicate the core experience of interacting with monster/adversary.

Skeleman


Asura, Lajja


Chompa