Monday, November 16, 2009

The Skinny On Dice Rule! (Part XII)

With all cons behind me for the year, I've dedicated my "game time" to the next WEGS book, Dice Rule! Well, that and the next module, Minotaur Meat... And of course, the long overdue Minion of the Month... These are the big three on my plate right now.

Dice Rule! is the one that consumes most of the time, and last week I found myself in the never-ending cycle of reading, editing, reading, editing the final chapter in the book: Chapter XII, Adventure! This isn't the first time I've been through that process with this chapter - more like the VI-th. It's a chapter that just doesn't want to play well with the others. Come the end of the week, on the XII-th to be exact, I put the finishing touches on the chapter and put it to rest (once again). This doesn't mean that Chapter XII is done by any stretch of the imagination. It only means that I've gotten it to a point where it is drying. I'll rip it all apart again when I start layout and design. And that point should be coming very, very soon! Boxcars!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ubercon XII Aftermath!

Way, way back in the fall of 2005, WEGS Copper was unveiled at Ubercon VI. Six cons later, this little con holds a special place in my old gaming heart. It's the kind of con where you get to know everyone that volunteers, and can recognize all the folks who wander about the gaming areas. It's got that hometown feel (if your hometown is Geekville, USA).

I always have a blast hunkering down to game here. The rpg room is a mid-sized conference room, half of which is dedicated to the mysteriously important RPGA activities (a partition is put up so they have their own private playing space). The other half (the non-D&D-ers) holds about eight tables hosting a mix of classic rpg events and small press games. A good chunk of the events are run by game designers or small press publishers. It's one big mix of gaming goodness. There are plenty of other rooms jammed with misc. gaming activities (card, board, minis), but I tend to stick around the arena I know.

I ran three WEGS Old Skool events: Tale of the Trojan Pig, Minotaur Meat (the next installment of the Badderlands series) and WEGS Sucks! (a vampyric event). Trojan Pig is an intro level game whereas Minotaur Meat steps up the role-play aspects of the game. WEGS Sucks! is a short and brutal scenario designed to be a total party kill (destroy all players), which we clearly state before the game begins. You gotta set expectations in a TPK setting!

All scenarios were a blast to run with a great mix of new/returning WEGS 101 players. Not suprisingly, WEGS Sucks! ended 1.5 hours early. Once the Vampyr Lord appeared with his soul draining sword and started pounding on the Goblin Warrior, the other players ran off the battlemat...

Shortly thereafter, the Goblin Warrior was no more.

A great end to the con!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Skinny on Dice Rule! (Part 2)

This past weekend, I split my time between reviewing the second half of Dice Rule! and watching some classic horror films, heavy on the Vincent Price. It was, after all, the season for the fiendish master of Poe. It's been a while since I've seen VP in all his glory and thoroughly enjoyed his brilliance in Tower of London (gotta love Richard the III stories) and The Haunted Palace (gotta love a movie set in Arkham even if it is a monster mash of Lovecraft storylines credited as a Poe story). I was also able to sneak in the final installment of the Blind Dead quadrilogy, Night of the Seagulls. More on these movies in a later post, though.

As noted in the post below, the second half of Dice Rule! is composed of five chapters and now comes in at text-only 88 pages. The bulk of the content focuses on the rules for minions (aka monsters), so it fit in well with the running weekend theme. I made it through 4/5ths of the book and knocking off the final chapter this week. Chapter 12 details adventure construction and includes topics on wave play, chapter play and campaign play. It's probably the biggest chapter in the book, which is the one dilemma I have right now: page count. I did not imagine that the book would grow to the size it is, but as the chapters unfolded, one topic led to another and another. Much of the content and rules covered in Dice Rule! was birthed at our convention game tables over the last five years. It's amazing to see how much WEGS 101 Old Skool has spawned.

It kinda creeps up on ya...

Just like Vincent Price...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Skinny on Dice Rule! (Part 1)

Way, way back in the early part of this year, I began composing the notes on the next WEGS book, titled Dice Rule! The subtitle was "How To Run A Wicked Game" and the book was to be a resource for all players. It was to include all sorts of tips/tricks for playing the game and also advanced options for Players (Arks), Kreators and Minion Masters. The content was primarily based on all the stuff we've been throwing down at our con games the last four years (stuff that isn't in (or excluded from) the Old Skool rulebook). I won't go so far as calling Dice Rule! an "advanced version" as I would a "companion piece". The advanced version is called WEGS Copper, and that ain't seeing the light of day (again) for a couple years.

By April, I had the first 7 chapters done in rough form. I was figuring the book would end up around the same number of chapters as Old Skool (twelve). There was, however, much more content in these first chapters than in all of Old Skool. I was looking at approx 80 pages of text. Way back in April I knew that this was going to be a big book! Now, the first 7 chapters dealt with the "bones of the system": the dice rules, the Ark Kard mechanics, spoints and skills. Stuff applicable to all players. The remaining chapters were dealing with much different topics: minion rules, encounters, tactics, and adventure design. The second half of the book was playing primarily to the Kreator side of the table (but it's stuff players should bone up on if they want to have an edge on the house).

By mid-summer, all 12 chapters were complete in their raw text form and weighing in at about 160 pages. This original manuscript was given a thorough drubbing by the Platinum Warlock and The Professor (two highly experienced WEGS mavens who know their way around the battlemat). Since then, I've been revising the content and getting it ready for its final death throes: layout, design, art and the final proofing. Once this process begins, it will probably be a couple months to a finished product.

Man, it'll be nice to have something new to sell at next year's conventions!