Valiant Horizon dev: what even are basic actions anyway?

February 25, 2023
TTRPG, ttrpg design, valiant horizon, total//effect

So some of my early playtest feedback is that melee feels less good than range which...yeah, tactics games are sure like that, huh! I'm fixing to handle this in a few ways right now. The obvious moves first: Lower the utility of Far range attacks. (This is even more pronounced because 3/6 of my players have abilities that hit to Far - basically almost all of the ones in the book. ...

Valiant Horizon progress: It's most of a game!

February 15, 2023
TTRPG, ttrpg design, game design, total//effect, valiant horizon

Valiant Horizon, Binary Star GamesJust not quite visually, at least not yet, as you can see. Initial Post Right now I've got: Classes. Each Class grants a Trait, a Signature Ability (will get into this later), a Standard (at-will), and access to 6 1/encounter Powers and 2 1/encounter Reactions. Each Class represents a relationship with a former hero, FFV "hero's soul in a crystal lending you their power" style. I've got 12 Classes: Bard: Healing focused one, with some added offensive buffs and debuffs. ...

End of week 6

February 14, 2023
TTRPG, ANOINTED23, Dungeon23

Feb 6-12 continued this trajectory. Monday, 2/6: Point 5, the Camp A siege engine. If you get here, you can use it on any adjacent point - 4, 6, 7, or 9 - to (hopefully) instantly kill several enemies there. If you get a direct hit on the ballista at Point 7 (we'll get to it in a few days, but it prevents travel to/from point 7 except via point 9), it's destroyed. ...

ANOINTED23, 1/8 (end of full week 1), some rambling on planning for Attributes/Regions for ANOINTED

January 8, 2023
TTRPG, Dungeon23, ANOINTED23

Pointmap from 1 to 9.A bunch of chicken scratch writing from January 2 to 8.(Previous) So we're at day 8 for this Region. Here's the breakdown of what that looks like: Thursday, 1/5: I wrote a new enemy (Scavenger) that I'm picturing as like somewhere between a hyena, wolf, and vulture. Tactics are to approach/surround (they have a very good move for this with Advance 4/Retreat 2) and pick off from there. ...


January 4, 2023
TTRPG, Dungeon23, ANOINTED23

The Delta Sinkhole entry as above, now with a little map.The Half-Dreg entry and two points, as well as two combat maps.Three entries so far. Map is going on that first grid for space reasons. I definitely didn't screw up and write Point 1 on Jan 9th already. Ignore that (1) on the map for now. Combat maps for fights go on the grid on the right (they're hexes in the actual game, but the way I have it set up is basically hexes). ...

Part 2: Escape from CICP-1 Scenario Teardown

January 3, 2023
TTRPG, ttrpg design, liminal void, total//effect

Ok. This is the part where I talk more firmly about the scenario. (See the map above.) The goal of this scenario, as repeated from above, is the same goals as Level 0 in general: Establish some "starting points" for characters, and give some playstyle options. Figure out, through play, what kind of people your characters were and are. (The Background mechanic is the obvious version of this, but even more subtle decisions inform a character. ...


January 1, 2023
TTRPG, Dungeon23, ANOINTED23

The Delta Sinkhole entry.For my first Region I’m making the swamp. The idea I have is basically a downriver swamp that was enough of a crossroads to build walkways over it. Over time, it’s been clogged with the detritus of centuries of war from upstream: materiel, corpses, undying warriors left as waste. The near-constant flow had attracted scavengers, making it hard to maintain; and eventually there was nobody left to maintain the walkways. ...

Liminal Void Quickstart and Scenario Teardown, Part 1: Background, Quickstart rules

January 1, 2023
TTRPG, ttrpg design, liminal void, total//effect

Map of CI Central Processing Station 1 (CICP-1)I'm in a posting mood because I'm putting off finishing writing a press release/kit so I figured I'd ruminate a little bit about how I put the Liminal Void Quickstart rules and scenario, Escape from CICP-1, together. Mild spoilers for the scenario under the fold if you care about that sort of thing, but most of the big scenario stuff is going to be in a follow-up post, but also it's just long and this seems polite. ...

Dungeon23 tech showcase: cyclic dungeon generation

December 29, 2022
TTRPG, Dungeon23, ANOINTED23

Figured I'd get a little into the sausage on one particular thing I found that I'll be using quite a bit. Cyclic dungeon generation is a really, really cool thing that I saw posted about on twitter (from @riseupcomus I believe?), and from there I've seen other people posting about it too. In general it's a great read just for picking out good design patterns for making little moments in a level, dungeon, etc - Zelda is described as the big influence but you can see this kind of technique for design going pretty clearly into a lot of soulslike areas, for instance. ...