Wednesday, July 13, 2016

“__________ at the __________”

“__________ at the __________”
A 200 Word RPG, version 1

One impartial narrator keeps score, describes events and determines if judges solutions.

Shuffle. Draw one card each (apart from narrator). Hide your card (even from narrator). Discover your gender, outlook, profession:

Spade: Noble Man
Club: Devious Man
Heart: Noble Woman
Diamond: Devious Woman

Ace: Gambler
Two: Store Owner
Three: Barkeep
Four: Miner
Five: Soldier
Six: Rancher
Seven: Barber
Eight: Doctor
Nine: Veterinarian
Ten: Banker
Jack: Outlaw
Queen: Priest
King: Sheriff

Keep some (devious) secrets.

Every ten minutes, draw a new card; discover an event:

Ace: Murder
Two: Riot
Three: Acid rain
Four: Fever outbreak
Five: Wolves
Six: Fire
Seven: Locusts
Eight: Hold up
Nine: Flood
Ten: Lynch mob
Jack: Bandits
Queen: Stampede
King: Nothing new

At the:

Spade: Schoolhouse
Club: Jailhouse
Heart: Ranch
Diamond: Saloon

Ten minutes after the tenth event card drawn, the game ends. Reveal your own card.


Noble: solve each problem. One point for each successful solution.

Devious: let each problem continue into the next. One point for every continued problem every ten minutes (“nothing new” does not count as an event).

Players with the most points at the end win.

Kill a noble, you lose. Die, lose.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

FissureVerse – Lost Souls in Hiding

Thanks to Lastovka Dmitriy for the art!

Lost Souls
Click to see it bigger.
Lost Souls has always been a bit of a fun one to get art for. The term comes from the DOOM enemy, which is just a floating skull. I like how this art makes the Lost Soul look like a Grim Reaper, who himself is supposed to shepherd lost souls. I also kinda like how it's similar to Nomads, so The Noise is developing a Grim Reaper kind of theme, which of course goes well with what they stand for. I changed the extra rules to include that if a Zealot is killed (not just converted), the Frenzy is lost as well.


The location Paradox has been giving me a headache to find art for (well, the last few locations left have all been doing so). I've decided to mix things up a little bit. First, what was once Paradox is now Dimension Zed, and what was once Dimension Zed is a newly named location called Hiding. Kind of like how you can be in Denial, you can also be in Hiding. It struck me only when I found this art, which suggests to me there may be people in hiding in this picture, waiting for a terror to pass by (like mice when a cat's snooping about).

Saturday, July 2, 2016

FissureVerse - 3 cards get art

Thanks to Karol Sollich for the art!

Mirage, Bottom of the Universe
Click to embiggen.
You'd be surprised how difficult it is to find a good sand castle! I've been on the lookout for a good one for ages, and now that I've found some great art for it, that crosses off green locations completely.

Bottom of the Universe got something of a change in concept. At first, my idea was a macabre version of the Mos Eisley cantina, but this particular image just spoke to me when I found it. Perhaps that kind of cantina is deeper in that city, but overall in shows a bigger view of the location. Maybe the whole city is a scummy place to get some followers, not just the bar. I removed the old flavor text (“Come with me if you want to live.” ~Warrior's Adage) for space, but I think it's still a funny enough bit of text to remember and use elsewhere later.


Unkempt has always been meant to be a dirty person, but I like to push the religious theme of the game on occasion, so a dirty altar works well in this regard.

Next Log: Lost Souls in Hiding...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

FissureVerse: Starving and Steel get art

Thanks to Vincent Lefevre for allowing me to use his art!

Starving, Steel
Starving and Steel. Click to enlarge.
Starving gets an art update, but the rest of the card remains the same. I decided that I needed to update the art of a few cards now that FissureVerse is thematically coming together more.

Steel is a new Frenzy added to the pile to round out the Frenzy effects. I've also reinserted Distortion, and added a couple of new ones: Malicious and Unblinking. Malicious is a simple +1 Fire, and Unblinking is a simple +1 Water. I still have four more Frenzies I'll be adding, but they need names first.

Next log: 3 cards...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

FissureVerse: 4 cards get art

Thanks to Trung Ta Ha for the art, who offers his work for free for non-commercial purposes.

The Signpost, Abyss of Emptiness, Path of the Righteous
Click to see bigger. All Blue today!
The Signpost had to be abstract in some ways, and my placeholder art even showed something like a two-headed creature as the Signpost itself. Both pieces work, but I think this final one works better for the Location being Emptiness' card: it's more soothing than scary.

Abyss of Emptiness gets a nice reboot. It adds the dimension of futility to the beliefs of the Blue faction. They believe that when all ends, there is nothing you can do. But they look into the Abyss with content.

Path of the Righteous keeps its old adage, but gets a new take on the art. Although I liked the seaward spin of the old art, perhaps too much water imagery might overwhelm the faction. This art is more of the lonely stuff like Trail of Emptiness, so it works with other cards of the sort on a more cohesive level.

Dripping was always tough because it always was abstract in the first place, so finding some solid art became a challenge. I considered 'dripping' to mean drooling sometimes, or slimey, but none of those worked for an Emptiness card. This art works far better, and goes along with the blue 'Of The Sea' theme. With the stat loadout, I expect it to be the kind of card that requires some skill to use well, with a quick Frenzy attached. But that's alright; not every card should be equally valuable in all situations.

Next log: Starving & Steel

Sunday, April 3, 2016

FissureVerse – Five Cards get Art

Thanks to Markus Härma, Riina Koivusalo, and Carl Beu for the art!

The Noisemaker, Shortened
Click to see bigger.
While most Crusader cards are alien races, a few of them are spaceships, and I've been having tons of trouble finding really standout ships that look completely unique. This art by Markus almost became Blue's Pirateship, but I decided it had the feel of The Noisemaker better, especially since of the gaping mouth of the thing. All the sharp teeth and pointy bits on it is very Noise-like. For flavor text, I had considered “Here comes the boom” (The Noise's slogan), or “Come on, feel the noise” (with or without misspellings), but I decided on something that sounds a bit more like a chant with big rolling bass drums behind it, the kind of chant you'd get from a galley of rowers.

With that, I'm now half done with Red Crusaders!

I also always knew I'd have troubled with the Frenzy Shortened, because it's a very abstract term (as are, like, half of them). This art by Riina is actually twice as tall and would not fit within the space, which makes the android inside seem like he's butting up against the top of the frame. I think it all works very well with the theme of the card. The name of the piece of art is “Thorns”, and it gave me the inspiration for the flavor text (that, and I'd recently read Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy, which is about the War of the Roses).

Observatory of the Infinite, Gate of Influence, Earth

Observatory of the Infinite looks a bit more interesting as far as being a more futuristic look than a modern-day observatory (which was the original placeholder artwork). Now, like other Green locations, it has more of an Ivory Tower feel to it.

Gate of Influence has gotten a lot darker. Originally the concept was something akin to the pearly gates of Heaven, brought to a place in the universe. The mechanic involved was the idea that by performing a rogation (a religious ceremony), you'd be closer to the entity that hears it here, and you would be rewarded for it. Now, not only that, but I've changed the flavor text to indicate that Solidity has a lot more power (or believes they do) over even things beyond the scope of the universe. And, like I am fond of doing, I attributed the quote to a crusader.

Earth gets to be a place like Grime or the Plains of Filth, where the world is far more post-apocalyptic than other locations. To separate it a little from those, I made it a place that The Noise might like to use as their own little place of spectator recreation.

Next Log: Four cards get art...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

FissureVerse – Psalms gets art, and rules changes

Thanks to Joifiash for the art!

Click to see up close.
I considered making this art a Blue card, especially since it has a nature theme. But the concept of Psalms in the first place is a rather Blue-like idea, so it fits just as well here. For flavor text, I considered making a new verse to the Song of the Walkers, but a four line verse might not fit, so I opted for a tweak on the lullaby instead. Hmm... “Lullaby” might make a good name for a new Rogation...

I've made some significant changes to the rules. I've added a timer to the game to give a sense of urgency, but it is not based on a strict time time, but on a number of moves. So a player can spend as long as they want to move without affecting the timer. Instead, the timer works off the Location cards. A number of Tokens is placed in a stack near the Locations. When all the Locations have been revealed, and need to be shuffled, one Token is removed from the stack. When the Locations need to be shuffled but there are no more Tokens left, the game ends.

I've made the number of Tokens something that players can decide themselves. A short game uses no tokens, so the Locations are only each revealed once and never shuffled and redrawn. Or players could decide to make a long game with, say, ten tokens on the timer.

I've fixed quite a few little rules as well:

If a player must Reinforce, but has no Crusaders to Reinforce with, they must discard cards into their Fearful Pile until they find a Crusader to Reinforce with. This whittles down the player's deck, so finding another Crusader later is not a slog. This also has the benefit of making players think carefully about their ratio of Crusaders to other cards in their customized deck.

I also changed the rules so on the event of a tie when converting by fire, the defending Crusader does not survive, but rather goes into the defending player's own fearful pile. So it eliminates the card from play, yet it does not count toward the offensive player's score at the end of the game.

Lots of minor tweaks have been changed in the rules in an attempt to clarify and make things more logical. The game is getting complex enough that I will also start needing to make a FAQ about specific cards, to answer questions like “What happens if the first Location Card is Haven, and no one can Reinforce?” (Answer: Players can still play Rogations, so the Round is not a complete loss).

Lastly, to make the cards once again in line with some vocabulary changes, I'll need to go through all the cards and fix text on them. That comes later. I'm lazy!

Next log: five cards get art