Thursday, January 29, 2009

Half Breeds

A while back, we set-up half breeds for the play-testers. This was one of the many ideas planned to be included in the optional rules book, a book, that unfortunately does not seem to have a strong market at this time. So, since these work very well, we'll release them to you as an optional, use if you feel like it, kind of rule. Hope you have fun with it! (The spacing is a little off, but forgive us the challenges of this format.)

The Legend Quest game assumes that a person can only be a member of one race. For characters that are descended from two races, it is assumed that one race dominates the other for computing attributes, while the character's physical appearance is a mix of both races.
Optionally, these “half-breeds” would have attribute statistics of their own. Below is a chart for mixed races. By cross-referencing the races of the parents, the statistics for the character's attributes can be found. These statistics are in SKEWAP order.

We couldn't get the formatting right, so please click to the aux site for the charts.

Sounding Board

Hello to anyone switching over from the Sounding Board. Welcome to the new blog - hope you like it. As with all blogs, this will be part useful information and news, part mindless rambling. Still getting the hang of it, but we hope it will be of value to folks! You never know, by the time we’re done here, it might have switched from a blog to a murder mystery. Anyway - We’re just trying to have some fun and stay in touch with you - our readers and customers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

GIG Coal

I was just going through some things on Grain Into Gold. Under the coal item, it says that a man can pull 500lbs of coal out of a mine in a day. It then says that that is for the good coal (smith quality) and that “regular” coal costs 15sc for 2,000lbs. This might imply that a man can pull twice as much cheap coal out of a mine as he can good coal. While there might be some truth to this, double is not a fair estimate, and it wasn’t meant to be. The cheaper coal is actually strip mined and therefore does not need to be carried out of a mine. Hope that makes more sense.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More on Estimates

Yesterday’s post seemed a little harsh, and I want to make sure no one thinks I’m mad. I am a little frustrated, because I failed to get my point across. Let me give you two examples:
How much time does it take a modern factory to make a car? How many cars does a factory turn out per year? Therefore how much money does a car company make in a year? Starts kind of easy you think, right. The engineers know how fast the assembly line moves, and the cost accountants can tell you how much labor goes into each car. Nope, they can’t. They use averages. and that doesn’t consider all the different options which also alter the time needed. They can tell you how many they made this year. They can give you an assumption of how many they hope to make next year, but it is only an assumption. As to how much money they will make, sorry! lose, hat’s anybody’s guess. Guys work full time trying to estimate those tings, and these are cars made to exacting specifications.
More appropriate example - Our most basic: You plant two bushels (total of 120lbs) of wheat seed on an acre and you get eight bushels (480lbs) of wheat at harvest. The whole book is based on this formula. What happens if there isn’t as much rain this year? What is the result of manuring the fields? Will that result change if you fertilize with compost or with ox manure? Is this the right soil for wheat? Is this the year the locusts come through? A volcano blew its stack 120 miles away sending all sorts of volcanic ash into the air, and some settled on the farm. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Has this field been properly prepared? Are the farmer’s children weeding the field? What if they are mostly playing and only weeding half heartedly? Are the yields different in Texas and California?
The point is that we believe in the Chaos Theory, or at least in some variation of it. There are too many variables that affect the outcome for us to ever properly understand the formula. We gave the best estimates we could based on the research we had and then explained it in the best manner we could at the time. Some mistakes were made, mainly in the style of explanation. Hope you liked it anyway!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Average vs Assumption

Just got a new review of Grain Into Gold. The guy gave us 4 out of 5 stars and it seems that 2 of 5 is more normal for him, so I guess I should just be quiet and be happy. But (you heard that coming didn’t you), he said that he wanted cold hard facts, and we used too many assumptions. The truth of the matter is, we called most of our averages assumptions. Several times we said that we were using averages and averages were by their very nature not reliable. Why did we do that? Because we felt that giving a price list with ranges for everything from an apple to a house would be more difficult for a game master to use than a list of absolutes crafted using assumptions. I’ll bet there are some folks who would disagree with our decision.
Hey look, I have nothing against this guy and his opinion, but it’s kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back. Someone had emailed me asking my thoughts on the amount of space a herd of cattle took up. My response was that it would depend on the space. I’m using 10 acres per head because it’s a rough average I’ve seen. Is it an assumption - Sure! It is an assumption based on the number of head various Wild West ranchers had compared to the number of acres they had. Is it valid for a land more similar to medieval France? No, probably not. Is it valid for dairy cows? (that was a reply question) Honestly, I don’t know. I was just trying to figure out Forsbury and Honsdeck. Is this a fair example of why I can only use averages and not absolutes? I hope so.
There are no black and white answers in agriculture and fewer still in manufacturing, especially when you’re dealing with hand crafting. Throughout Grain Into Gold we tried to give you the reasoning behind the numbers we were using. The point of that was so that you could alter the results depending on your world. A lot of you bought Grain Into Gold. Thank you! Really! But remember please, it is really intended to form a base that you modify according to your specifics. Some GMs will just use the price list as is. Others will do more work. I hope we helped both.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Shot

Hey everyone. We're going to give the whole blog thing a try. This way we can make lots of comments about the little things that would never make it into our books. Give us a couple of weeks to try and figure this all out, but we hope we'll get the hang of it and make it a great tool for us and for you.