Thursday 25 June 2015

Weapon and Armour Layouts

Weapons and armor will be split into broad categories. Everything within a set category (e.g Light Armor or Quick Weapon) will have similar properties. This allows plenty of scope for players to invent their own armor/weapons. A few examples of each type will be given for flavour.

Here are the early concepts for armor and weapons. Should I have characters wearing the armour like the original design? I had removed the 'model' because I wanted you to imagine your character in them (and to be consistent with weapon presentation)... but possibly the page has lost a little fun. Characters also allow me to bring back some variety in the poses. However, I do like the catalog feels of the new presentation. What do you think?

Friday 12 June 2015

A Combat Survival Guide for the Martially Unready

Good Day to you, fellow adventurers! Wumble Eveready here, and I'd like to address a grisly issue that my partner Dara has brought to my attention.

Yeah, mainly the fact that a lot of you are dying before you make it halfway through your second adventure.

She speaks tersely but honestly, I'm afraid. And at the heart of the issue is the fact that many dungeoneers and explorers approach conflict from an entirely erroneous angle.

If you're not a solider, samurai, murder princess or some other kind of blood thirsty lunatic, don't engage the chomp beast directly, stupid!

Again, harsh but true. Fret not, however! Tender greenhorn you may be, we can still gird you with something much sturdier than any shield or breastplate!

Don't oversell things, Wumble.

Oh come now, these are good! I like to call them:

The Meddling Chib's Combat Survival Guide for the Martially Unready!

1) Always bring some candy!
  • The best fights are the ones that never happen! Nothing calms down an angry adversary like some Chib Toffees. Also, they will be way less likely to eat you if their mouths are sticking together a bit.
2) Assists are your friend!
  • So maybe your not the best shot. Maybe your sword arm is a bit noodly. You can still back up your more fight-inclined buddies with the Assault Assist action! Be careful with this one though, it does mean you might still be in stomping range.
3) A well stocked inventory is your arsenal!
  • Just like a Warrior has to bring the right weapon to battle, you have to make sure you have the right stuff to make a difference. Flame Grenades for Ice Beasts, Star Gem light to ward of Spirits and maybe a bit of Shadow Stuff if you find yourself on the wrong side of a Deva. Oh, and you can never go wrong with some Healing Potions!
4) Pride is for the stabby!
  • Look, Brave Dame Whats-Her-Name has plenty to prove, but you don't! Hide, play dirty, beg, do what you need to do to keep yourself around. If all else fails, run as fast as your feet allow. Just keep the last step in mind...
5) Don't leave anyone behind if you can help it!
  • So this may sound like it counters the last one, but it doesn't, I swear. When all your clever plans fall apart or when all your cool stuff fails you, what's going to save your butt? Your buddies. You know who may need to take a hit to make sure they are around to do that? You guessed it. Suck it up, buttercup.
Before Wumble-Bumble takes all the credit, I have to say #2 and #4 are mine. But he's not as good a shot as I am so he needed to make up more~

AHEM. Anyway! These should keep you alive long enough to keep make it to Rank 2. If not - well, you won't be around to yell at me for it, now will you?

Thursday 11 June 2015

Equipment - Layout

  • Using a three column grid for equipment for a denser texture.
  • Have experimented with a icon system for coins, stones, gems but felt messy (I still want to get this to work!).
  • Inventory slot system needs definition.
  • Rules/mechanics elsewhere in the rulebook are visually differentiated (in a grey box) but feels  like overkill here. Not happy with the inconsistency that creates. Might revisit.
  • Item types to cater for: Unique items (Torch), Items with multiple options/levels but are mechanical identical (Tome), Categories s that suggest a list of examples but allows the GM to add items of a similar ilk (Adventuring Gear)

Had tried illustrating the object in isolation but felt this wasted a world building opportunity so opted to put the objects in context.

Sunday 7 June 2015

Champions - "HA-HA!"

So a couple of months ago Break!! had something of a massive paradigm shift - I abandoned the idea of isolated Spell Paths and decided that specialized Callings with unique Abilities were the way to go for this game. I liked it because it meant every character type was packed full of flavor as well as options. There was no generic "wizard" that got stronger every time I decided I wanted to make a new sort of magic.

Of course, this rippled into the non-magic using Callings I'd already written up. They had been designed to cover a wide spectrum: The Warrior could be a berserker or an archer, the Specialist a pick pocket or blacksmith. This is all well and good when all your character types are broad like that, but frankly it made them seem really boring in comparison with the new caster types.

So after much consideration - and a bit of grousing - we opted to split those two generalized Callings in half to make four distinct ones. Rather than base them entirely within the mechanics, I figured it'd be more fun to build them around themes and play style.

So no longer are there Warriors and Specialists. Now there are Champions, Raiders, Factotums and Sneaks. Today I am going to talk about that first one.

Champions are all about the application of power and force. They are extremely lateral - if given the options of "over" or "under" they will choose "through". At their best they are brave stalwarts who stay their hand until absolutely necessary, at worst they are sadistic bullies who revel in their might.

  • Champions are the best fighters in Break!! - no one hits harder or better than they do.
  • Armor is awesome. So is not having Armor, if you wanna give that a go.
  • No weapons is beyond their ken! Buster Swords? No Sweat! Combo Weapons? Piece of Cake! Techno Relics? OK, they'll need a bit for that one.
  • Besides being masters of combat, Champions make great leaders, orators, and...butchers?
A few inspirations for the Champion from the realm of fiction: Guts from Berserk, Red Sonja from Gail Simone's run on the comic, Corum from The Chronicles of Corum, Caim from Drakengard.

I leave you with this relevant clip from Yotube.

Character Sheet - 2nd pass

Wow! It's been nearly a year since I last looked at the BREAK!! character sheet. The system is still maturing but mechanics are stabilising so I thought I'd have another look at them.

Random thoughts on character sheets
  • Is a brand opportunity. Does it represent the the game verbally and visually. Take design cues from rulebook (circles, icons, fonts)
  • Complexity/Rigidity vs. Simplicity/Flexibility. Initial reaction is that clean sheet with white boxes where you can sy anything is the way to go BUT its not fun to fill in (uncertainty) and doesn't help you understand the mechanics. So...
  • Should tightly match the mechanics. Leave no ambiguity in terms of where put data and have enough room a worst case scenarios (a fully encumbered Rank 10 Champion)
  • Personalisation. I've (inconsistently) used first person on sheet. I can... My name is... (Is this annoying or engaging?) Does it help you understand. Abstracted simple labels don't inspire. 
  • I also like piclists/tags for things like name, personality. They give ideas (not on this version!)
  • Profile pics. Creative types happy to draw amazing bespoke characters sheets from scratch what about those that cant!? Faded (easily ignored) face template to trace over customise. Could provide a set for gender/species!
  • Colour can add 'fun' also useful for information design. This design easily put in black and white!
  • Need continuation sheet for adventure log, experience points, followers (coming soon)
  • Ability sheets for callings - Writing down ability names and benefits is a drag and time consuming. Just tick a box on a separate sheet (if not certain the information that is written succinct so it is quick/fits). See below.
  • Character Sheet PDF download to include creation funnel, filling in help and core stats. No use of rulebook minimised (Thanks Scrap Princess)
  • I left a central margin as I was thinking about a multi-leaf folded character sheet. I kinda like that notion but may get dropped, is not that practical.
  • Digital character creation is something I am keen to explore.  Your characters on your smart phone!
  • A blank piece of paper is still a good option!

Aptitude experiments
  • Give examples of checks related to this Aptitude to help player. (smash, crush, lift). 
  • Rather than just have Trait (aptitude bonus) as +1 use words (feeble, strong). Your actually supposed to come up with your own (second option)
  • Bar chart fun or a chore to fill in?

Calling ability sheet
  • All the options are here. Just tick a box rather than jam the information into a tiny text area.
  • Also Rey... I subbed this down hard to fit.

Anyway, more dev needed...