Thursday, 3 December 2015

Heroes Family Portrait and Traits

I posted a WIP shot of the 'inks' for a drawing of our newest adventuring party the other day, well here is the coloured version. Our party is a fascinating little group that will continue its adventures in the depths of the Stone Thief (living dungeon) tonight.

For reference again, these are our 13th Age characters (L-R):
  • Ook: Monk of the Glowing Winds cursed into Gorilla form
  • Archon XIV: Dwarf-forged artificial sorcerer destined to save the 14th Age
  • Leaph: Petalate cleric of the Order of the Wild Rose, pregnant with the High Druid's child
  • Beast: Shape-shifting Druid experiment of the Archmage and the High Druid
  • Justinian: Wood Elf Paladin seeking revenge against the Stone Thief
I tried some of Jesse's colouring and there are lots more bits to be seen in the Slick Entertainment Dev Blog and the stunning live stream on Twitch. Anyhow, while it kinda worked I did throw in a heap more layers to adjust things to get it closer to what I envisaged and smoothed over a few things or added colour adjustment in some places as well. I am not certain whether this darker version is the right end result, but it is still a fun pic that reflect the dungeon crawl we are on.

Everything from start to finish was done in Photoshop on the Surface Pro 3 and took waaaay longer than I hoped and envisaged. That said it was a design, sketch, ink, colour and finish process for 5 characters so maybe it was always going to take a while.

Plus I did start making a 16:9 version of the picture in case that would be useful which is below along with some WIP images as well.


Traits, which perhaps isnt the greatest word to use, but we were mulling over house ruling some aspects of the 13th Age game to draw out elements of our characters while binding together other mechanics already in play. Anyhow, this was the ruleset as written the other day, doubtless it would need tweaking but I like the more character-centric 'aspects' and the more integrated nature of rules around Icons and OUTs etc.

  • 3 Traits per character that replace their Icon relationships.
  • 1+ must be Icon-centric & 1+ must be party-PC-centric
  • When someone’s Trait comes up they get that trait’s Card that can be spent later.
  • Cards are retained between sessions to be spent or accumulated.
  • At the start of each session make Trait rolls, one per trait, a 6 gets you a Trait Card
  • Full House: if a character ever gets 5 Trait Cards a Destiny Bomb goes off, may not be all positive
  • Destiny Bomb = something Dramatic occurs in the world relating to the character - consuming all the cards
  • Traits can be Compelled like FATE Aspects – the GM offers a Deal (for a Card) that something awkward happens.
  • Compells need not be accepted, but doubtless they will be.
  • Spending a Card confers some situational benefit to the hero or their companions that relates to the card
  • Spending a Card can be mechanical (roll recharge, +D6 damage, reroll a skillcheck, gain a recovery)
  • Spending a Card can be anything cool (find an ally, magic item, reputation, aid is coming)
  • Spending Cards confer non-repeating benefits, you can’t gain the same groovy thing over and over
  • Traits may be conversions of Backgrounds that people want to come up in game for good and ill
  • Traits can evolve or change as needed by the character.
  • Traits may encompass or essentially absorb the One Unique Thing
  • Traits should be double edged and phrased as something enticing…
Leaph Example:
  • Fated Destiny of the High Druid’s Unborn Child
  • Her Protectors are like Family
  • The Thorn-Mother is Watching and Judging

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Live and Streamed RPGs

I (and some gamer friends) went to see the last DragonFriends show for 2015 Monday night and had a blast seeing the live antics of a bunch of comedians playing Dungeons and Dragons. The podcast is a riot of course, but that doesn't quite compare with the hilarity of being there live and seeing how much fun is had by all (as well as the extra bits that are cut from the cast).

I didnt get to see these guys at PAX (was in the DMing session) but they clearly picked up a whole new legion of fans following their live panel there. This is actually a pretty special thing we have going in Sydney and I am looking forward to supporting them in 2016. Visit their site to see the cast and to dive straight in and listen to the podcast adventures with special guests included.

The closest to their show I had seen prior to this live was the Dicestormers live panel which was just as funny and ridiculous, particularly with all the zany input from the audience (pacifism, mankinis, fear of cats and lots of cats). The Dicestormers made good use of Syrinscape (because they make it) which is great, still not as amazing as the live music the DragonFriends bring to their show, but we could use Syrinscape in our games whereas getting a live muse is hard. So, another cool Sydney group that has heaps of video and podcasts of a variety of game systems as well.

This idea of watching other people gaming is starting to flourish, maybe on the back of Twitch and the whole streaming scene, but with these tabletop RPGs we are getting something unique as each set of characters and story is new and different.

In that vain it makes sense to have a set of links here to some of the wonders out there that allow us to see inspiring games play out with celebrities, actors, writers, gamers and people in the right place at the right time (Roll+Luck).
Warning: there are so so so many hours of great stuff hiding behind these otherwise innocent looking links:

Critical Roll 
Aquisitions Incorporated
More D&D Streams
Roll20 vids