Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Star Trek LCARS Home Panel

Needless to say... want.

Labels: ,

Read the rest!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wolverine Gets A Manicure In Russia

Check out the video after the jump...


Read the rest!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Grinch That Stole Thanksgiving

Wal-Mart and Sears announced that they will be open Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart isn't surprising, but Sears is caving to pressure and joining the Evil Empire. I really hope sales suck and they get shellacked by the over-time expenses to discourage this disease trend from spreading.

You can read more here.


Read the rest!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Skill20 101

In most incarnations of MicroLite, three stats (attributes) are used - Strength, Dexterity, and Mind. The trouble I ran into using the three stat system was that it put too much on Mind. While specifics were driven by skills, it still put everything from Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma into one stat.

My solution was to add Alertness. It was the one area that wasn't well defined by a skill and that I was struggling with in game play. So my simple 3x9 skill chart had to expand to 4x9.

That's right, 9 skills. At least for Fantasy Skill20. Different settings could require different skills around subjects such as magic and technology.

Skills replace numbers such as Base Attack Bonus (use Melee or Ranged skill) as well as defenses. Without numbers derived from levels, there's no need for levels. Advancement is handled through advancing skills and stats. Advancing skills is fairly easy, growing more difficult with higher skill ranks, while advancing attributes are expensive and require a lot of work (xp).

The third part of the character building blocks is the selection of feats. Class abilities from other d20 incarnations are part of feats, as well as some familiar feats. The initial number of feats hinge on stat scores and are gained by improving stats and getting skills to certain break points (11 ranks of a given skill). Feat gain is fairly slow, though the initial helping may look generous. However, given that the player uses feats to emulate class abilities, they can get used up quickly.

The player can decide whether to focus their character and make it more versatile based on feat selection with the obvious trade off. The same holds true for skills. If a player dumps all xp into advancing their melee skill and load up on combat feats they will shine in toe-to-toe fights. The counter to this min-maxing is to have a well-rounded campaign with plenty of skill checks and challenges other than combat.

Labels: , ,

Read the rest!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Lego Star Wars - Original Trilogy

Even though this spin on the original Star Wars features Jar Jar, it's still worth a watch.


Read the rest!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Game Name Game

Back when 4E was looming on the horizon, I started working on what I called Project 39, my attempt to combine the best of what I had seen in the 4E mechanics with what I wanted to keep from 3.5.

4E hit, I blew up my campaign world to accommodate the huge shift it represented, and we converted our ongoing campaign to 4E. That last a few sessions until I hit on a way to do more granular advancement (something I frequently tinkered with in d20) and hit on the idea of 4lacarte, an a la carte advancement system where players bought powers, feats, skills and what not piecemeal, rather than a surge of power once in a while when they leveled.

Cruising the InterBlogs, I stumbled across Robin Stacey's Microlite system. The idea behind Microlite was to boil down D&D to its barest bones, with the basic rules taking up a couple pages. A small community developed around the idea, all doing their own takes on it. I realized it would be easy for me to distill down what I was doing into a simplified system, basically just expanding slightly on the Microlite idea but keeping my idea of advancement divorced from level. I called it MicroZ.

Microlite was bought by Seth Drebitko of Kobold Enterprise. Microlite20 or M20 continues to have its community and Mr. Drebitko is continuing to develop the system. However as thing progressed I could see his path and my development path were diverging enough that I felt that my system was not quite Micro and many of the mechanic introduced to M20 were not ones that met my needs.

I flirted with the name z20, a play off d20 and the z in Oz. But it isn't very descriptive, then I hit on an idea for a name that sums up the core of my iteration of d20. Skill20.

Advancement in Skill20 mostly hinges on Skills. While there is Stat (Ability or Attribute such as Strength) advancement, Stats don't change much over time. Skills are the driving force in this game. Hence the name.

I'll go into more details on Skill20 in a future post.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Read the rest!