Friday, July 24, 2009


The question has come up several times: How do we expand Legend Quest? We can add more monsters - Not too earth shattering there. We can add more gear - both magical and mundane. Some of the magic stuff can be interesting. But to expand the characters, we need more styles of magic. The Book of Wishes brought beast mastery, dwarven enchanters and elementalists, as well as the enclave sorcerers. What’s next? well here are some of the things we’re working on:
Spell Dancers - by moving their bodies, they conjure up their magical powers, in a fashion similar to how spell singers bring on their magic (from themselves, the environment and the target). Their casting times are quite long and it is not the greatest attack magic.
Enclave spell dancers - tribal dancing used to cast the big spells. Actually this is based on some of the legends and beliefs of some of the tribes in the USA’s history, expanded quite a bit (OK distorted quite a bit). Right now, this is more of a defensive thing - the village women and children dance to cast protection spells over their village and their warriors.
Spell Smithing - (OK so we have a lot of spell ___, but taken in the context of all the styles of magic, it’s not too much, we hope.) Spell smiths are enchanters who do not write their spells on the item, they craft their spell into the item. Again, it is a way to get around the metal resistances as well as make the spells harder to dispel. Also - with this you can craft those wondrous magical limbs and such. Super powered magical arm anyone? (Yes please - golden!)
Arcanist - a sorcerer who works with the inner workings of magic itself. There won’t be big fireballs here, but he will be able to strip the power from an enemy’s spells and redirect them with ease.
Dragonbone - a personal favorite. Imagine a spell caster standing atop a huge pile of bones. Not just any bones, but dragon bones. He pulls the power from the bones themselves to cast his spells. OK - not exactly an adventuring style, but summoning dragon bone armor and a dragon bone spear from the pile, while using the power of the dead dragon to fuel excessively powerful effects - stuff of legends!

The downside - I have to figure out how to do these cheaply, because Legend Quest specific supplements don’t sell very well. I’ve been thinking it through and we’ll find a way to make it all happen!
Last note - Don’t worry! We’re working on cool things for the warrior types as well. Carrier attacks and blended moves, etc.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cost of Goods

There’s a point that we make in Grain Into Gold that I don’t think we hit it hard enough. Where are all those prices coming from? There’s a simple formula. Think modern times - what does it cost to get your car fixed? Auto mechanic’s labor plus parts. What does it cost for the plumber to fix your sink? Plumber’s labor (possibly including a fee for the house call) plus parts. What does it cost for a loaf of bread in the supermarket? Baker’s labor plus parts (ingredients) plus transportation plus packaging plus middle man’s mark up. Now in the modern setting, you would have to include the labor of the marketing guys, etc., etc. The fantasy realm is the same. A loaf of bread costs parts plus labor, plus possible transportation plus packaging. For a loaf of bread, there is usually no packaging (the buyer simply puts it in their own basket), there is usually no transport (since the buyer walked to the bakery), and there is likely no middle man, though the baker might be including the cost of his taxes and other overhead in either his labor or an add on cost.
Does packaging matter? Even in the modern age, we’ve all heard that the cost of the cup that the pop at a fast food place comes in is more expensive than the pop itself. (That’s a yes.) In the fantasy era, a cloth bag to carry five pounds of flour will likely cost more than the flour. In some cases, the wooden keg the beer comes in might be more expensive than the beer. You can bet that these people are using the same packaging over and over if at all possible.
The transport situation was covered in Grain Into Gold, but not to my satisfaction. That’s where Coins of the Road will come in. Yes, I know it was likely promised some time ago, but things being what they are, it likely still isn’t going to hit the e-shelves in 2009. (Grain Into Gold is our best seller. People really liked it. To be honest, we’re working our tails off to make sure that it’s follow up is at least as good. That has been difficult!)
Anyway - when you’re figuring out what something cost - the simple formula will always be parts + labor.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Grain Into Gold Shameless Plug

It occurred to me in rereading the previous posts that not everyone who will be reading this has already read Grain Into Gold. That is a huge shame! So - Why would you want to buy GIG? Well, as you see from that coal and coke example, we get pretty detailed - not that detailed! We summarize how we got to numbers like that so you can see the logic, but not all the work. For those of you looking for a short cut, pages 69-81 of the book contain the charts. Yep, 13 pages of the costs of everything from a cow to a pound of beef jerky, from a beaver fur hat to a long sword, from a pound of wheat flour to the daily wage of a cobbler. Not only are these charts complete, but they are all based on the same system and they make sense! Grain Into Gold came out of a complete frustration in looking at yet another game book where an apple cost 1cc, but the apple grower would have needed to sell 200 apples a day to feed his family. While an apple grower might sell 200 apples during the fall, it seemed clear that his family would starve the rest of the year. Of course, the games weren’t written for the apple growers, but only for the adventurers. Grain Into Gold allows both of them to live in a reasonable and even sort of realistic economy, without crushing the game master under study notes the size of the FASB rules. (That’s Financial Accounting Standards Board - It’s an accounting joke - that’s why it wasn’t funny!)
So anyway - buy Grain Into Gold! Click here or here to find it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lycanthrope - Fletnern Rules 2

OK - I should know by now that I cannot import charts into this blog format. Let’s just give you the math:
Beagodon full gives a +70% chance of changing. Beagodon strongly waxing gives a +35%.
Tilliat full gives a +35% chance, while Tilliat strongly waxing gives a +20%.
Add the appropriate numbers (even if they’re -0-) to get the chance that the lycan will switch in an uncontrolled fashion.

Lycanthrope - Fletnern Rules

Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.

OK - but which moon? Fletnern has three: Beagodon, Seuwis and Tilliat. Beagodon is most closely associated with natural magic and it is the most powerful moon concerning were-creatures. Seuwis, although being considered the “Death Moon”, has very little effect on lycans. Many people believe this proves that were-creatures are not “evil” by nature, but it simply proves that the magic surrounding the changes are not associated with necromancy. Tilliat surprisingly enough does have some impact on the werefolk, but not as much as Beagodon. The reason for this is most likely that it produces the strongest moonlight of all three and therefore has some impact.
OK - let’s make some rules. Beagodon is full for three nights, while Tilliat is only full for one. (Seuwis is full for three as well, but it doesn’t matter.) Beagodon is strongly waxing (almost full) for four nights, while Tilliat is strongly waxing for two. These are going to be the only conditions that will cause a were-creature to change unintentionally.
We’re introducing a new skill: Lycan Control. This is a 5-point Willpower based skill. It will allow the were-person to either resist the changes brought on by the moon cycles or force themselves to change when the conditions are not right. Let’s focus on forced changes first. Each combination of moon cycles will lead to a percentage chance that the person will change into their animal form. This percentage can be resisted (if the character chooses) by their Willpower (x5% as with any resistance) and their Lycan Control levels (also x5%). OK - so here is the chart:
Beagodon Tilliat Seuwis Chance of Turning
Full Full No Effect 105%
Full Strg. Wane No Effect 90%
Full No Effect No Effect 70%
Strg. Wane Full No Effect 70%
Strg. Wane Strg. Wane No Effect 55%
Strg. Wane No Effect No Effect 35%
No Effect Full No Effect 35%
No Effect Strg. Wane No Effect 20%
No Effect No Effect No Effect 0%
Full Full Full 125%
We’re going to throw a curve ball at this. Anyone without Lycan Control levels suffers a -15% to their resistance. No, that is not a normal issue, but it seems appropriate to alter the rule in this specific case.
Let’s think about some examples. A new werewolf who has a Willpower of 5 and no Lycan Control levels, has a 105% chance of turning, less his 10% resistance (Wx5% - 15% non-skilled), or a 95% chance of turning. A more experienced werewolf with a Willpower of 6 and three levels would only have a 60% chance of turning (105%-Wx5%-Level x5%). Still, not a good option for the villagers nearby. If only Beagodon is full in the sky, and Tilliat offers no modifier (either because it is not strong or not visible), the new werewolf will have a 60% chance of turning (70% base - (Wx5%-15% non-skilled)), while our more experienced lycan will have a 25% of losing control and turning (70%-30%-15%). As you can see, even an experienced lycan is highly likely to change on the Festival of the Three Moons.
Remember, as long as the were-creature can maintain a Knowledge of 2 and a Psyche of 2, they can use their own skills and form their own thoughts. They will not become vicious killing machines with an appetite for human flesh. (cool imagery though, huh?)

Lycanthrope should be different on every planet. The moons are different, and they exert different effects on the people that live under their reflected light. Many might think that these rules are too soft on the lycans and allow them a chance to resist the call of the wild. They are supposed to be. Lycanthrope is not intended to be unbearable on Fletnern, but hat doesn’t mean that you need to make it easy on your lycans on your game world!