A Walk in the Dark A look in to the mind of an RPG designer

21Aug/12Off

Revenge of the Kobolds

I've mentioned this "challenge" adventure I've been working on before, but now it's time to be official about it.

I haven't officially chosen a title for it (I'm not fond of the above title), but this adventure is similar in concept of the traditional Lair Assault adventures by Wizards of the Coast. But there is one small twist: the players are all kobolds, and the enemies are PCs.

Here is the tentative introduction:

     For as long as you can remember, you have been victims. Even after reducing the senseless attacks on nearby villages and trying to lead a peaceful, isolated life they still came. Every few weeks another group of "heroes" would barge in to your lair just because it was there, and they would not hesitate to try and kill everyone in sight and take all the precious things you've struggled to collect. Sometimes your clan was able to beat them back, but other times you simply weren't so lucky. When your clan's going on their ninth chieftain in the last six months, you know you have a problem.

     Most of the time you and your group of warriors were there to try and fight them, and sometimes you managed to kill one or two of them before having to inevitably retreat, but now it's different. It's as if they waited for you - the clan's latest and most highly trained protectors - to leave on a routine scouting trip so they can waltz in and ravage your lair. The ninth chieftain and the remainder of your clan didn't stand a chance this time.

     Enough is enough! Your clan may have been decimated (again) and your latest leader may be dead, but there is no way you are going to let these paltry "heroes" get away with it this time. It's time to go in there to take your lair back, and show these gutless intruders what a proud, fearless kobold is truly capable of!

This challenge adventure is somewhat complex in its design and execution, so I'm somewhat concerned about whether the mechanics will work. So I'm looking for a few people that would be willing to review the mechanics. For that matter, I'm also looking for ideas on a title and certain achievements that the players can gain. And it needs a few editing passes. 😛

I can't guarantee I'll send it to you if you offer because I do want to limit distribution, but if you'd like to know more please contact me at dflor@brainclouds.net.

17Aug/12Off

Go For the Eyes!

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

You know, I can't resist a good blog carnival.

When I saw the "Classics Return" blog carnival over at Daily Encounter, I wondered what to do for it. Quite honestly I don't remember much of the classics, at least at enough of a capacity to do them justice. And I can't re-do a classic adventure without treading the line with WotC.

I didn't have time to do what I usually do (an adventure or delve), so I threw something together in a crazy sort of way. Here I give you, direct from the Spelljammer campaign setting by TSR/WotC, the infamous Giant Space Hamster for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition!

Of course, in my usual fashion, I did go a little over the top. In addition to the basic monster I included several derivative hamster types, a new animal companion and the mother-of-all hamsters... Wooly Rupert, The Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!!!

Gnomes beware!!!

The Giant Space Hamster (PDF, 1.2Mb)

11Aug/12Off

New Dice-Related Tools

I've recently been working a bit on some tools I us to make my life easier, so I thought I'd share them.

Both of the following apps are for Microsoft Windows and require the .NET Framework (as I write this I don't remember if it's 2.0 or 3.5). They are standalone EXEs that are fairly portable and have a small footprint.

1) Damage Calculator

A while back I posted an offline 4E damage calculator that used formulas based on Sly Flouish's calculations. I modified the application to support adjustments due to ongoing damage and automatic percent increase for brutes (25%).

You can download the new version HERE.

4E Dice Calculator
(MSWindows, .NET 2.0 Framework required)
Approx. 14Kb

2) Dice Pool Graph

While kicking around ideas for an RPG I'm thinking of doing, I needed an easy way to visualize bell curves for dice pools of varying sizes and for multiple different dice combinations. Thanks to followers on Twitter I was directed to AnyDice.com, but I needed something a little more portable.

The application shows you the distribution for any dice equation you put in, from the basic (3d10) to the complex (3d6 +1d8 +9). It will show you the mathematical probability but also has options to make 100, 1000 and 10000 die rolls to be a little more convincing.

You can download the app HERE.

Die Pool Grapher
(MSWindows, .NET 2.0 Framework required)
Approx. 10Kb

 

And there ya go... If you have any issues or requests with the above, please let me know.

Unless I think of something else to make my life easier, my next application will most probably be a Monster Builder. The 4E one I was working on is actually farther along than I would have thought, so I might make that one available after all. Stay tuned!

9Aug/12Off

Light and Dark Fonts

It's been over a month since I posted? Gosh, I've been busy... Sorry.

A long time ago, for an alternate reality game that... well... failed miserably, I created two custom font sets. I actually used these two fonts in "trailhead" packages to start the game, writing the entire sender's address label in the corresponding font.

I expected the folks at UnFiction to take a few days to decode it. It took them hours, maybe less.

Since I imagine that some of you DMs out there might be interested in writing things, like for puzzles, in a cryptic font but may not have the time or inclination to create your own font to do so, I thought I'd provide these two.

"DLI Lightscript" was made to be used by an angelic, apparently good/lawful organization; it was designed with smooth curves and lines, portraying a certain level of symmetry. Almost mathematical, if you will. Numbers are included as well, and the symbols appear similar except the pips are solid black I think.

"DLI Darkscript" was made to be used by a shady, apparently bad/evil organization; it's chaotic, with no sense of rhyme or reason. No curves in it at all, entirely made by sharp lines and hard corners. Even the line thicknesses vary between characters. It's kind of a mess, but it was made to be that way.

Both files are provided as Windows TrueType (TTF) fonts wrapped inside a RAR archive.

If you do use this, I'd be really interested in knowing how. Let me know!