Sunday, April 24, 2011

Old School DINO-PIRATES!

Wait, how can there be old school DINO-PIRATES? We haven't even really established the first school, much less the new school to come after so that there can even BE an old school.

Nevertheless, it's here. Our friend Kirin has produced the rather awesome game Old School Hack, and it's a whole ton of fun packed into a mere 26 pages (including five pages of cut-out displays, a cover and seven character sheets). This is truly a game you can pick up and just run, right off the cuff. It's a lovely bit of game design.

And Kirin has done us all the very great favour of releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license, so anyone who wants can create their very own works based on it.

You can see where this is going, can't you?

Yes, there is a DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND version of Old School Hack now available. Choose from the Swashbuckler, the Sea Dog, the Ninja Shadow, the Ninja Sword, the Shaman, the Hunter and the Sorcerer -- all with their own powers and abilities. Imperials, DINO-PIRATES, ninjas and natives all in the mix. We tweaked the armor rules a bit, since heroes in DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND are more swashbuckly, less clompy and stompy.

The DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND setting isn't tied to a particular mechanic, and the rules aren't meant to model physical laws. Rather, the rules (both the "classic" DINO-PIRATES and these Old School rules) are meant to provide a structure in which interesting stories are likely to happen. So why not supply multiple rulesets? If you like one more than the other, that doesn't make you a bad person. Try 'em both!

All you need to do is download the original Old School Hack rules from Kirin's site, then download the DPoNI substitution for the DINO-PIRATE-y classes and abilities. Then yaaaarrrrr! You're ready for adventure among the islands!

OLD SCHOOL DINO-PIRATES!

Wait, how can there be old school DINO-PIRATES? We haven't even really established the first school, much less the new school to come after so that there can even BE an old school.

Nevertheless, it's here. Our friend kiznit has produced the rather awesome game Old School Hack, and it's a whole ton of fun packed into a mere 26 pages (including five pages of cut-out displays, a cover and seven character sheets). This is truly a game you can pick up and just run, right off the cuff. It's a lovely bit of game design.

And kiz has done us all the very great favour of releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license, so anyone who wants can create their very own works based on it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Slimmer, Faster

One of the reasons there isn't a downloadable version of DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND is that I'm still wrestling with the final ruleset. It's been one of those projects where the idea expanded to take on a variety of cool ideas, but in a couple of years of playtesting, the most obvious need is to have fewer rules.

So a bunch of things are going away. Nothing very core, but a few key things that will, I hope, really help to cement the rules (and in doing so, the setting).

Reputation: I really liked the idea of reputation being an alternate form of wealth, but it just made for a complex set of rules that never, ever got used. It's gone.

Adjustable Powers Stats: You used to be able to drop the number of ranks you put into a power, so you could bump your Resilience Roll. Too complicated. Even just explaining it was complicated. So it's gone. Your Power stats are all static now, but there's a feat you can take, "Resilient", that gives you a bonus on your Resilience Roll. Simple.

A Bunch of Feats: There were a number of feats that just made things complicated without being very useful -- stuff like "All-out Attack" that just made for MORE math at the game table, and again, that nobody ever used. And "Leadership", because I've always found that one annoying.

Also a Bunch of Powers: Some powers likewise got the boot. For example, Harm, and Pain. Harm is wrapped up in a new power called Pressure Points to mimic the common wuxia ability of "blocking energy flows" or whatever whangdoodle they call it when somebody goes tap, tap, tap on someone else and they drop down dead or freeze in place. So you can use that to either injure or paralyze someone. Pain went away because I find the Mental Grapple ability of Mind Link accomplishes the same thing (screwing with someone's ability to act with YOUR BRAIN) just fine.

And Then Just Some Tables, Too: We threw out all the Role progression tables and just included the formulas required for each progression. The formulas are simple enough and the tables annoying enough that hopefully that won't slow anyone down.

We've also explored a completely different ruleset, and will have postings and things about that, too. Stay tuned!